Culture and Religion

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I am appalled when I read comments by influential leaders implying many more people in the world should die to help avoid future misery in the world. Here is one site with a number of such quotes about overpopulation.

I will admit there are certainly many people in the world and so there are also too many in misery. However the emphasis on reducing that number is just a distraction to the real problem - the political system that maintains the misery. The concentration on the number of poor, starving people is just a way of saying 'the problems are caused by the number of those poor people so those poor people should be eliminated.' This ignores the fact that the policies of the Western governments do nothing to alleviate that misery.

Over the past 200 years, the world's population has increased significantly. However the world's food production has also increased as fast.

The problem is not the number of people but instead the way the world's resources are dispensed to those people.

For example, American foreign policy pushed Haiti to lower its tariffs so Haiti would import American rice rather than export it. This has been devastating to the local population dependent on rice production. These predatory policies prevent the country and its people becoming more independent and self-sufficient.

The world's economic powers have pushed for the privatization of water, where corporate profit was emphasized over the human need for water supposedly because private (corporate owned) management of water would be more efficient than a government run entity. Only recently has that trend been overturned, at least to some extent.

The people of the world must be capable of managing their own food resources, not subject to the predatory policies of multinational corporations, while not being abused by their government leaders who remain subservient to the wishes of the world's economic powers.

Willis Eschenbach has written a number of interesting articles that touch on this subject of dealing with feeding the world's population. I believe they help convey the message of this topic; here are a few links:

The Long View of Feeding the Planet

The Food Crisis has nothing to do with global warming


Farmers versus Famine

Animal or Vegetable

As a large group of people becomes more secure, their birth rate has been observed to drop (as seen in all the Western countries and in the most developed countries of the lower economic tier). This implies improving the lives of the world's poor will also help address the issue, by affecting the world's birth rate. This is the opposite approach from those apparently hoping for an increase in the death rate for certain segments of the world's population.

A number of religious organizations seek to limit access to birth control. This inconsiderate policy implies people should not be allowed to manage their own families but instead accidental or unwanted pregnancies must be carried to term, adding to the population. These unnecessarily increase the population as well as probably having children raised by resentful parents. As those in the religions prone to push uncontrolled pregnancies become more educated, (hopefully?) those religious teachings will be less effective when viewed as being counter to the overall health of humanity.

If overpopulation is really the major long term problem for the world, increasing the world's death rate is not necessarily the only or best option, when humane, rational changes to the birth rate are also possible and practical.

Helping those that are alive by improving their living conditions and by giving them more responsibility over their life is a better plan than for one (privileged how?) segment of the world's population to choose which other segments in the world should be reduced.

created - April 2012
last change - 04/26/2012
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