Teresa Audesirk: Population boom

Advertisement

— Everywhere we look — if we are looking — we see evidence that the human population, projected to reach 7 billion sometime this year, is straining Earth’s capacity to support it. In our own backyard, the energy industry clashes with those who recognize the need to preserve our dwindling untrammeled spaces. Nearly all of the wild animals that we love to look at, like pandas, whales, tigers, elephants and polar bears are threatened. Many scientists agree that Earth is in the midst of its sixth great wave of extinctions, now driven by human activities, particularly habitat destruction. This may soon be rivaled by global warming, as our greenhouse gas production inexorably changes Earth’s climate.

Earth’s problems stem from too many people using too many resources. Unfortunately, the messages we hear most emphasize the “using too many resources” part of the equation, implying that changing our wasteful habits and improving our technology will make everything OK, or at least avert major environmental disaster. Certainly this type of change is crucial. But the world population increased by about 80 million from 2009 to 2010, adding roughly 1.5 million each week. India and China (each home to over 1 billion people) are rapidly industrializing, and the U.S. is growing at a rate higher than that of any other developed country.

Few people in positions of authority have the guts to say that, no matter how much technology we employ, we can’t continue adding people to Earth and expecting her to supply us with both the basics of life and the natural beauty that makes life worth living. Thankfully, that taboo may be changing, as each February more people join the Population Institute’s “Global Population Speak Out.” Let’s work toward a stable and sustainable population while we still have so much that’s worth protecting, to help ensure that we pass a healthier world on to our children.

Steamboat Springs

Comments

exduffer 3 years, 2 months ago

My wife and I have done our part. One boy and one girl to replace our tired old bodies.

0

blue_spruce 3 years, 2 months ago

"Let’s work toward a stable and sustainable population while we still have so much that’s worth protecting, to help ensure that we pass a healthier world on to our children..."

yeah, see, screw that! DRILL BABY DRILL. who cares!!!

0

Kerrie Cooper 3 years, 2 months ago

You are right on the money Teresa !! It amazes me how completely disconnected people are to their actions on the scale of things. Religion only exacerbates the problem by encouraging reproduction & discouraging birth control which is utterly insane to me. Sadly, due to man's greed and laziness I doubt most Americans would lessen their style of comfort in the name of preserving the earth. Only when there is literally no wood left, nothing but genetically modified food to eat and completely poisoned water to drink will man "get it." But, it's nice to know others like you do. Thanks for your article.

0

Kerrie Cooper 3 years, 2 months ago

Here's a story on CNN news today that reaffirms exactly what you said: It's called "World Bank: Chronic Hunger to Affect 1 Billion." It's only a matter of time this happens in the good US of A.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/BUSINESS/02/15/world.bank.hunger.prices.ft/index.html?hpt=T2

0

sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

Tree huggers force the continued use of ethanol which takes water from aquifers that could otherwise be used to produce food for Earths people.

Environmentalists killed the biggest solar power proposal ever in Neveda.

The leftist Kennedy family fought hardest to kill a wind project off Nantucket.

Al Gores "carbon footprint" is bigger than Bozo the Clown.

If this is the 6th extinction then what caused the first 5? Wasn't humans, huh? (kind of like global warming fanatics ignoring that the Earth has warmed and cooled since it was "created" without mans' help)

If the globe warms there will be more arable land and a more favorable climate for growing crops.

I could go on but whats the point.? You guys are the most religious of all. The only difference between you and Baptists is that you worship the house rather than the builder. And seldom do you ever follow your feel-good impulses to their logical conclusions. If you were willing to see the entire pictiure you would see that it's not as bleak and dire as your over-dramatizations attempt to portray.

0

seeuski 3 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, I meant to say Freaks, didn't want to leave out the the sheep.

0

KirryJ 3 years, 2 months ago

I used to believe the theory of overpopulation as well so I know where you guys are coming from but the more digging I did the more things just didnt add up. Plese take the time to go to http://overpopulationisamyth.com/ and see some facts that may open your eyes. I have come to believe that the overpopulation theory is a way to control the masses and not the population. Aditionally, if you do subscribe to the thoery how do you propose we solve it. Forced abortion, sterilization and limiting the # of kids couples are allowed to have. That violates the priciple of reproductive rights. Or are reproductive rights only a right when you want to kill a baby and not have one. Thats not ethical or logical. You cant force your belief in a theory onto others. So will you be the first to stand up and be sterilized for the "good of humanity"? Then your ideas, values and beliefs would die w/ you and all other like minded people.

I also have to agree w/ sledneck on the global warming issue. I am a geologist by education and we live on a dynamic plant that continually goes thru cycles of warming and cooling all on its own. There is just as much evidence to prove we are not causing it as there is that we are. You just have to look beyond the propoganda.

For those who believe religion is a culprit in this "overpopulation", I am a devout Roman Catholic. I have 2 children and would like a third. I have never been taught that its my religious imperative to have an inordinate number of children. I have been taught to be open to life but be responsible. Do not have more kids than you are capable of practically caring for. I use natural family planning which is more environmentally friendly than birthcontrol that ends up in our water supply, its organic and every bit as effective as any other form of birth control.

As for the food shortages we are facing they are not due to overpopulation but natural disters that have happen in places that are major food producers. Drought in China, floods and typhons in Australia and the like. Not b/c there are too many people. Our government actually pays farmers not to grow crops, surely you know that. We could grow enough food for the entire world just in the state of texas. The overpopulation theory sticks as much as George Soros.

0

KirryJ 3 years, 2 months ago

On the issue the urban sprawl and habitat destruction....most of that is a result of increase transportaion efficiency and technology and poor resource management. People used to have to live in cramped quarters in cities b/c thats where jobs and resources were. Transportation being limited they had to live withing walking or horse distance. Today w/ cars (2 and 3 per household) and high speed trains people can live further away from those resources w/ limited inconvenience. Technology has allowed them to live far away from work and play. I know people here in Steamboat who work for companies not even in this state.

0

lithamarie 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh good grief. Why is it that people who are already born and living on this planet feel that they can dictate who else gets to live here??? And how many??? If you feel the need to stop having children to save your piece of the pie, then feel free. Those of us who reproduce because we acknowledge that human life is beautiful and should be welcomed and promoted will eventually outnumber those who would destroy it and contracept themselves out of existence to save a planet for...whom???

0

thalgard 3 years, 2 months ago

yeah, seu suk eeee, don't forget the sheep, even a jerk like you needs a little lovin' sometimes!

0

Kerrie Cooper 3 years, 2 months ago

Those of you who are non-believers, you must not have ever seen what happens when (2) rats in a cage, become (6) rats and on and on. Regardless of what they (the rats) believe or want to believe or have been taught, once their food & water runs out, they kill and eat each other and show unmerciful violence. This planet is no different (all the resources are finite whether you can deal with that or not). Period, end of story!!! (just look at Haiti for one.)

0

KirryJ 3 years, 2 months ago

lovestoread, did you check out http://overpopulationisamyth.com/. I am thinking not. And yes and I am aware of what rats do to each other under many circumstances. Are you calling yourself a rat? Cause I know your not calling me one. Name calling does not lend itself to credibility. Thats something someone who has no arguement does as a last resort.

0

JustSomeJoe 3 years, 2 months ago

God wouldn't have let us have all these people on Earth if he didn't design it for all these people.

0

KirryJ 3 years, 2 months ago

Lovestoread,

Additionally people ARE NOT rats. While many will cave to thier most basic & carnal desires and needs they also have the capcity to love in amazing ways and rise above those inclinations. The tricky part is.....change starts w/ yourself. I was told a story about a person that was given a glimpse of heaven and hell. The man went to the afterlife and Jesus showed him a door. He opened it and saw a round table surrounded by people. There was a pot of soup in the middle and they all had long spoons attached to thier arms that they could not remove. They all looked emaciated and on the verge of death b/c they could not feed themselves. The mas asked Jesus, what is this place and Jesus said hell. They closed the door and moved to the next door. The man opened it and saw the same scene but everyone around the table was happy and laughing while feeding one another from across the table. The man said, what is this place and Jesus said heaven. It is within us to be better than our most basic instincts. You can either try feeding only yourself or can be more than just basic animal instict but you need to rise to that occasion as does everyone.

0

seeuski 3 years, 2 months ago

We just had a census count done, the clock has been at around 300 mil for years and yet the people haters want Americans to die off. Go to, sheep. We are seeing the destruction of the minds of those who believe this crap by the destroy America crowd. Keep smokin the rope fools. http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html

0

Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 2 months ago

How many miracles is enough? 7 billion people? 10 billion? 100 billion? Didn't God give us brains? Our planet's land and water is finite....DUH. The human population will keep growing and growing. As the population grows, humans will need to farm more and more land until every last acre is under cultivation. Inefficient use of increasingly precious farmland (feeding meat animals) will give way to growing food crops. At some point, the number of mouths to feed will exceed the amount of water and food (arable land) than exists. To make way for more billions, humans will have to eat less and less and less, until they, too are at their capacity. Think of the money I could make if I could sell each of them a t-shirt!

0

JustSomeJoe 3 years, 2 months ago

dude, sarcasm.

Love how anyone who doesn't agree with seeuski hates America and wants to destroy it.

0

MrTaiChi 3 years, 2 months ago

Most of the stuff I have read indictes that the overpopulation problem is in the third world. What does the author propose to do to get Latin Americans to stop reproducing like ...? Should we have allowed cholera to have swept through Haiti because it is obviously overpopulated? Should we embargo medicines to Africa? How does society tell orthodox Jews and Muslims that God's new plan for mankind is to have only replacement families?

Among the developed Western nations only the United States is holding its own on a demographic track to sustain its culture, and this just barely, thanks to massive illegal and legal immigration, and assuming by "culture" one means traditional Western religion. In all of the European countries, except pehaps some in eastern Europe, the reproduction rate among Caucasian Christians is so far below the reproductive reates of resident Muslim citizens, that by the middle or end of this century they will be a minority in their native lands. The only way to sustain social entitlements there is for the governments to allow massive immigration, accelerating the trends. Europe as we knew it is soon to be lost to a supremicist religion-culture that has no agreement with concepts of religious diversity. Local efforts to protect the culture are cirticized as 'nativist' and 'right wing'. We haven't figured out how to defend our society and still be true to Western values of inclusiveness.

Nice sentiments expressed in the artice, but of no use whatsoever in answering how the developed world can turn off the birth spigot in cultures foreign to our concerns and still maitain our humanity.

0

Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 2 months ago

Sadly, the only "solutions" are famine, epidemic, and war.

0

MrTaiChi 3 years, 2 months ago

I must qualify my statements above as based only on one source and not the product of original research. I believe it to be true, however. More: Demographically a culture can only sustain itself if reproduction per couple is at a rate of 2.11. Reproduction at the rate of 1.3 is a downward spiral from which a culture can't mathematically recover . On average European Muslim reproductive rates are over 5. France, which has a French reproductive rate of 1.8 will be majority Islamic in 39 years. Germany, with a reproduction rate of 1.3 will be majority Muslim by 2050. The Netherlands is projected to have reached Muslim majority in 15 years. Here are other birth rates: England, 1.6; Italy, 1.2; Sapin 1.1. The EU average is 1.38. Since 1990, 90% of EU population growth was Islamic. In 20 years European Muslim populations will total 104 million, about twice what they are now.

Canada has a birth rate of 1.6; the US 1.6 except when latino birth rates are averaged in it is 2.11. In 1970 the US had 100,000 Muslims, in 2008, 9 million.

In 5-7 years, the number of Muslims is projected to exceed the number of Christians and become the dominant world religion.

Please, please, someone prove that these numbers are wrong. If not, your grandchildren will not only have to deal with global warming, they may be doing it in full beards and burkas.

0

Kerrie Cooper 3 years, 2 months ago

Despite what religions/cultures/families brainwash us to think humans are no different or above any other species on this planet (except that we have built bombs to wipe everyone off the earth & have destroyed the resources that sustain us unlike any other species). We all take food, water and air to survive & we all have very primal instincts when times get bad. If we have resources for unlimited populations, why then: is a great deal of the food we eat now genetically grown, every drop of water we drink contaminated in some way by pesticides, prescription & illegal drugs, the air loaded with carcinogens, the wide open spaces of America now covered like a cancer with gas & oil rigs, the oceans going into huge extinctions & our wildlife numbers going by the way side as well?

fyi-if you don't think we'd act like rats, listen to some of the interviews with the Chilean miners that endured 69 days underground. They had decided that if someone died they would be eaten for food since their food source had almost run out. Do you honestly think we in America would be any different? I don't think so! It's only a matter of time.

0

Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Project any trend far enough and you get nonsense. Facebook at current growth rate will have more members than the world's population in a few years. The birthrate of the Irish as well as other immigrant groups periodically inspire nutcases to worry about the doom sure to follow.

These arguments sound similar to the book Population Bomb that so famously has been proven so false. As the population has doubled the average person increased calories consumption by 24%. About 30% of food in the USA is thrown away.

Some people like that sort of stuff of do what they say or the world will be doomed.

0

MrTaiChi 3 years, 2 months ago

I owe you an apology.

My above posts, particularly the second was ill-advised. These things happen with too much time, or too little time between tasks, but I'm an adult and responsible for expressed opinions. I could try to salvage my dignity with a lame excuse, but it would come out like Dan Rather's assertion that the spirit of what he reported, (Bush was a draft dodger) was correct without evidence to support even that excuse.

I should have done this first: Google "European Muslim demographics". If you are curious about the above statistics, do it yourself and make your own judgment.

0

sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

You need to expand you reading list, lovestoread.

0

Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 2 months ago

Yeah I know Scott...in 100 years the mile will be run in 2 seconds etc. etc. But such theories are just ridiculous extrapolations of a graph and ignore the limits of the human body. Are you saying that the human population will stop growing before the planet's food production is maxed out? What would cause that to happen? People voluntarily having fewer babies? Are people that smart?

0

sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

Are we really that far gone?

"In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, 'make us your slaves, but feed us'." [ Dosteovsky's 'Grand Inquisitor' ]

0

Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Shawant, Long observed trends would suggest that it is quite likely that human population will stop growing before reaching the limits of the planet's food production.

A) current food production could support a large growth in population and cost of food as a percentage of income is at historic lows. So it is probable that additional food production could be brought online if the prices improved. And certainly lawns and other decorative gardening would be converted to food production if worldwide famine was a serious concern.

B) Because with the expectation of long life comes reduced birthrates. It has been observed across Europe, Japan, United States and Canada.

There is a population explosion for a society as it makes the shift from having many kids because comes the generation that has far fewer young deaths than the previous generation. So it is entirely possible that much of the developing world is in the transition period and their population growth will follow the path of developed countries. Of course, if there are countries that continue with their current birthrates then there will be a lack of food at some point.

Also, a recent Nobel Prize went to an economist that pretty convincingly showed that every recent famine has occurred when there was sufficient food, but a failure to distribute it because of war or other issues.

There are limits on population and food production, but there are good reasons to believe we are not close to those limits and that worldwide population growth will tend to level off and not continue to double.

0

bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

lovestoread-what is it exactly that you are reading? scott, I ask the same. What is it that some just dont/cant get? Every life form on Earth evolves. Every organism has adapted to whatever climate it lives. If anything, we need to pay more attention to the smaller basic forms of life and what immediate (in terms of what we as humans have time to learn at the rate we are going) are adapting to. Life as we know it will NOT be what it is today in say...1000 yrs. A grain of salt in this planets life. By reproducing at such an alarming rate, no matter your personal god-ish thoughts, you are in fact setting forth the termination of our species. Be responsible and use the brain your said 'god" gave you. That deep thought being said, what reason do girraffs serve on Earth, besides taking on O2 and other elements of life here? Hmmmm, where does one draw the line? selective habitation? Or Responsible reproduction?

0

sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

"The whole aim of practicle politics is to keep the populace alarmed (hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to RULE it." H. L. Mencken

0

exduffer 3 years, 2 months ago

So, do me and the wife need to do the nasty some more or not?

0

bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

exduffer-LOL!!!! Do it all you want, just keep in mind the costs of food and shelter for the next 18 plus years and dont forget the college fund. Darn, sort of puts damper on things being responsible, huh?

0

freerider 3 years, 2 months ago

Anybody that wants to help out with over population just go kill yourself

0

Kerrie Cooper 3 years, 2 months ago

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110220/ts_afp/scienceuspopulationfood

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

"By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable" if current trends continue, Clay said.

The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years -- tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations -- and add more strain to global food supplies.

People tend to move up the food chain as their incomes rise, consuming more meat than they might have when they made less money, the experts said..........................

0

sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

So, what should we do. lovestoread? Whats the answer?

0

Kerrie Cooper 3 years, 2 months ago

Mandate (2) kids per couple to start and (harshly) take responsibility for our lives and not be afraid to die when our bodies get sick, as well as taking our own deaths into our own hands instead of to doctors/hospitals & convalescent homes that make a fortune off people who's lives have lost all quality.

0

sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

Who decides when someones lifes quality is not worth continuing?

Beethoven was deaf. Sir Isaac Newton once asked that the windows of parliment be closed so the public would not hear his stuttering. FDR had polio. Believed that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had Turrettes Syndrome. Hank Williams and John Cougar Mellancamp had spina-bifida. Renowned physcisist Stephen Hawking is bound to a wheelchair and has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Vincent Van Gogh, Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens had Epilepsy, as did Michelangelo and Da Vinci and Edgar Allen Poe. JFK had asthma. Helen Keller, deaf and blind. Albert Einsteins teacher told his father in 1895 that "It doesn't matter what he does he will never ammount to anything." because the boy apparently had some learning disabilities.

Please don't go into the healthcare profession when you grow up, Loves. And find some more up-beat reading material for goodness sake.

0

CedarBeauregard 3 years, 2 months ago

I love the notion that only having two kids will not increase the population.. Classic math problem.. The thing is its still exponential growth. It would only work if you died when the baby was born but you don't.

Say two couples have 4 kids.. 4 people having 4 kids. There kids meet and have 4 more kids.. And then the grand kids meet and have 4 more. So now in only 4 generations you have 16 people alive on the planet when you originally only had 4..

All while simply "replacing our tired bodies."

0

seeuski 3 years, 2 months ago

Even if lovestoread had his/her way and all of his/her adversaries/Conservatives would die, or even if all of the USA population would evaporate, the world population would still be nearing 9 billion people, if that number is accurate. The part of the population that is most active in reproducing, purposely, is of the Muslim persuasion as they are planning a global sharia or caliphate and increasing their numbers is their duty. Leave us alone Freaks.

0

George Hresko 3 years, 2 months ago

Not to be unkind, Cedar, but you need to reexamine your mental model--you left out (a) folks not getting married; (b) folks not having kids; (c) folks dying before reaching adulthood and (d) normal adult death.

0

thalgard 3 years, 2 months ago

Seau Suk eeee...you are alone...you will always be alone.....nobody likes you...you are alone

0

hereandthere 3 years, 1 month ago

Do we really need to hear such racist crap from yampavalleybaby?

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.