Overpopulation not the cause of overusing our earth

Some people think that part of our too big ecological footprint is caused by overpopulation.

Three senior researchers, organising and leading The Overpopulation Project (TOP) are of the opinion:

If we continue to become more and more people, each consuming more and more energy and raw materials, environmental crises will follow one after another. The only long-term solution is for us to reduce our consumption and become fewer people on Earth. {Why we must become fewer people and consume less – and suggestions to improve the situation}

It is not the becoming more and more people that would be a problem to the earth. The Divine Creator has a plan with the whole universe and man fits in His Plan. When looking at our globe you can notice that there is still a lot of earth or places to live around.

The high-circulating Swedish Social Democratic newspaper Aftonbladet gives a broad overview and writes

The so-called Kaya identity shows that total carbon dioxide emissions are the product of multiplying four factors:

1. the number of people, 2. GDP per capita, 3. energy consumption per unit of GDP, and 4. carbon dioxide emissions per unit of energy.

However, climate policy measures focus exclusively on the third and fourth factors, i.e. technological solutions for energy efficiency and switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy. However, the effects of such progress may be cancelled out by continued growth in population and consumption levels. {Betala kvinnor som föder högst ett barn}

According to us, we should most be concerned about those consumption levels, people using much more than they need, because that is the problem today. Too many people are overusing their surroundings.  Many people just waste the natural resources around them. Far too many fruit and vegetables are simply thrown away, instead of being prepared for consumption, or thrown away as food waste, instead of being reused.

It is not population’s size that is going to decide that there would be sustainability. When having respect for the surroundings man should be capable of being in control of the goods the earth produces and should be able to continue to live reasonably well with a minimal long-term effect on the environment. It is up to each individual to have the quality of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time.

Those who think that man shall destroy the earth, are probably those who do not believe in God (El Shaddai – The strong One) and His Word (the Bible). It is a given fact that the world shall not be destroyed, even when there would be people who would love to that and who would not mind to use nuclear weapons.

People should be aware that the natural wealth of the world is something that gets inherited by each generation and shall be given on generation after generation until we come into the end times, when there would be a very Great War or Great Tribulation (World War III) or Armageddon. At that time shall man have to face its stupidities and be confronted with their deeds. Then shall be the moment that mankind shall be confronted with his own smallness in the face of nature, if they were not aware of it. Then they shall see the rich inheritance of resources: lands, birds and animals, rivers and lakes full of drinking water, forests burgeoning with timber, minerals, numerous plants with which to feed ourselves and from which to create clothes and medicines, energy from the sun, irrigation from the rains, power from winds and thermal energy, a multitude of minibeasts that keep the solid rich and fertile, insects that pollinate crops, oceans that shift heat around the planet, and so on and so on. Then those who shall accept Who created that all (Jehovah Host of hosts), and are willing to recognise Him as the Only One True God, shall see the solution for the world and that this vast wealth given by Him shall fully satisfy all our needs in a paradise restored.

Now humanity’s failure to arrest global ecological decline has become the stuff of regular news reports, and the realization is starting to sink in that the impacts we worried about inflicting on our grandchildren are happening to us. This seems to have opened up an intellectual space to discuss “the P word.” As philosopher Trevor Hedberg writes in his excellent new book The Environmental Impact of Overpopulation from Routledge Press:

We are now more than 25 years past the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development – the venue where explicit discussion of population policy became a political taboo. Evading the problem has not helped us. Population growth has continued and made it more difficult to mitigate climate change, slow down the rate of species extinctions, and adequately distribute the world’s finite resources. Minimizing the harm that befalls present and future people requires confront­ing this reality and abandoning the fiction that procreative choices are too private or intimate to be subjected to moral scrutiny. (137) {The moral case for population reduction}

We cannot deny that the growth of a population will have an impact on the materials used on this earth. Nor can we ignore the fact that humans have evolved to such an extent that they are usually not satisfied with the fruits and vegetables of their own region according to the supply during the seasons. Man has become so accustomed to finding goods for his consumption throughout the year. This made that we are very dependent on imports.

The overconsumption of resources and pollution of the planet is not caused by overpopulation, but by a population not taking care properly of itself and its surroundings. For sure, we shall not die off due to overpopulation. It is wrong to think that we would become too large of a population to live off of what the earth could provide. The Creator has namely provided that everything would be in balance, but it is mankind who has brought everything to imbalance.

Humans are the problem, but not their quantity. It is their choice that puts our world into problems. It is the sort of people who are creating the problems on earth or who are the virus itself unto the earth.

Normally one would expect to get wealthier as people and as countries, we would come into a better position to control our surroundings. With our grown knowledge, we also should be able to care more about the environment. In previous times, lots of people their main concern was just to get the food on their plate. Though that did not mean they had no eye for what was around them. Over the years, lots of people have lost that eye for their surroundings. They have no connection with the land, the flowers and plants. It is that lost connection which also causes the imbalance. Man needs to find concern again for the welfare of animals, plants, and the environment.

Humans are wealth-generators, and wealth generation is based on human ingenuity, and the free exchange of ideas and goods. These mechanisms, along with others, like the price system, allow humans, unlike other animals, to solve problems like what to do in a world where population continues to rise along with corresponding consumption? More division of labor, economies of scale, more efficient modes of production to generate bigger returns with less, and so on. {Humans Aren’t the Problem; We’re the Solution}

There are those who are convinced that

population and consumption cannot continue to expand forever; that, to maintain a high standard of living, the number of people will have to come down; that resource exploration and extraction are subject to the law of diminishing returns and will, therefore, become more expensive over time; that discoveries, inventions and innovations do not obviate the need for more resources; and, finally, that human successes in overcoming resource constraints in the past are not relevant to coping with environmental challenges today. {Debunking the Overpopulation Alarmists}

They forget how inventive man can be and how, in the past, man regularly faced problems that he eventually managed to solve. Now it will be no different.

the “optimists” claim that population growth makes humanity richer through division of labour and economies of scale; that human ingenuity enhances efficient modes of production and “delivers increasing returns … [through] progressively less damaging ways of doing things”; that, unlike other animals, humans use trade and innovation to get around resource constraints; and, finally, that there is no reason why our past successes cannot be repeated in the future. {Debunking the Overpopulation Alarmists}

One great problem that we have to face is that there are several wars going on in this world, which get lots of people looking for better places to live, but leaves also certain foods, like grain, not coming to places where lots of people are packed together, starving. Uganda, Syria and Pakistan are such places, which the last one’s population will increase three-fold in the coming years.

Pakistan’s depleting resources and the depressed economy would be unable to cope. This issue needs rigorous attention as it is bound eventually explode like a time bomb. {2022/08/05 weekly capsule-reads}

In such times of war and unrest, prices are soaring, and the poorest people are the biggest victims. The problem might also be that in those poorer countries there is no birth control and there the expansion of the population under the present conditions does really create a problem.

There we should be aware that the problem arises also from man’s own cause. People morally ought to avoid causing massive and unnecessary harm to other currently existing people, and in several places in the world today, we see that the greed of certain people brings suffering to others. For believers in the Creator God, it is evident that they should come to help those in need. But also the non-believers should get to know what their moral duties of non-harm are. They are just as stringent toward future people as they are toward current people.

Moral and ethics are the pin around which the earth should revolve and which should keep it in balance. Thus, we morally ought to avoid causing massive unnecessary harm to future people and should respect their land and their own territory. We should stop to deprive others of their foodstuffs. So, not only have we to dramatically reduce our overconsumption and current levels of environmental degradation.

Consumption increases with ongoing fights between population groups are threat factors for man himself as well as for the animals and plants living around that man. Therefore, in first instance man should come to show respect for nature and for people around them, not considering them as a threat but as co-habitants on this planet, where there is space enough for everybody.

In terms of reducing consumption levels, the greatest potential lies with the world’s rich. A further reduction in the level of consumption is unthinkable for the world’s poorest, who barely have what it takes to survive. Human civilization will only survive if we succeed in a historically unique levelling of the gap between rich and poor. {Why we must become fewer people and consume less – and suggestions to improve the situation}

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Preceding

  1. What effect does population have on climate change?
  2. Almaty ablaze
  3. Why Nobody Wants to Listen to Climate News

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Additional reading

  1. How long will natural resources last [The InfoGraphics List]
  2. Time to consider how to care for our common home
  3. What Did We Do?
  4. Today’s thought “Allowed to have dominion over the universe” (January 02)
  5. Connection between women and environmental sustainability
  6. Ecological economics in the stomach #3 Food and Populace
  7. Immigration consternation
  8. How to look back at Cop26
  9. Corona part of much too many or not enough
  10. Dependent on imports
  11. Armageddon
  12. Times of restitution
  13. Paradise restored

+++

Related

  1. Sustainability 101: 35 terms and definitions you need to know
  2. Updated EcoAction: Do You Know Your FootPrint
  3. Map Monday: changes in world populations through the ages and associated factors for today’s world
  4. Soil as a tool to mitigate climate change
  5. The moral case for population reduction
  6. Top scientists call for new UN sustainable development goal on population
  7. Earth Overshoot Day: we have just exceeded what Earth can regenerate in a year
  8. Students view human population growth as a threat to biodiversity
  9. Climate Change, The Latest IPCC Report, And Ways We Can Help
  10. Overpopulation Research Papers On A Burden To The Environment
  11. Overpopulation: economic fallacy and doctrine of the antichrist
  12. Overflowing shelters – solutions you can implement today
  13. Children One or Zero
  14. The Unthinkable
  15. Humans Aren’t the Problem; We’re the Solution
  16. 3 Women, 2 Countries, 1 Voice for World Population Day 2022
  17. The Planetary Level Destruction Nobody is Talking About
  18. Weekly Capsule Reads
  19. Florida’s Abnormal Population Growth
  20. The humongous elephant in the room…
  21. Growing populations increase the risk of pandemics

Published by Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".

2 thoughts on “Overpopulation not the cause of overusing our earth

  1. Our globe is more than great and big enough to foster lots of people. The only thing is that human beings should make better use of the space available for them and should make sure that they do not form a too great burden on the environment.

    Greed is one of the big problems as well as “crowding out the other residents of ‘our’ planet” whilst people let food travel all the way over the world, just to enjoy everything throughout the year instead of eating those products only in the appropriate season.

    In our industrialised capitalist countries, our accent has become placed wrongly. Our way of life with the use of all sorts of gadgets and lots of things we think we need to have a more comfortable life may have created an enormously productive economy which by our demand that we make consumption our way of life, has put a lot of pressure on this globe. Like Victor Lebow writes, it got even so far that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, in consumption so that we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.

    Bad is that most people are not conscious of the fact that we are consuming our supporting resources to exhaustion. Lots of farmers also misuse the grounds mixing it with all sorts of chemicals to get up to the last bit out of it, willing to produce more and more of agricultural goods …. until the earth is totally used and shall not offer any more some good healthy products. Much too many do not see they are using the soil to destruction, and that is also one of the problems in our society. Also, for producing our new technology we have gone so far to overuse all sorts of metals like they would be there ‘growing’ or ‘multiplying’ for ever. At the same time the children digging for the precious material, their life is brought into danger, but the consumers do not seem to mind.

    At the moment, in rich countries, most people may think they are successful. Their life is enabled by enormous quantities of nonrenewable natural resources (NNRs), though they are not concerned by those who come after them, as long as they can enjoy the pleasure of using them for their advantage. It is such an egoism that creates the problem for humanity and the universe. Because man does not only want to own this planet. He is already looking for enlarging its borders out in space. Because NNRs have become permanently scarce, man thinks to find it somewhere else in space and is convinced they own that space and may use it for whatever they think it can be useful for them.

    When you look at all the great empires, you can see they started to grow, came to a climax, deteriorated to disappear and got replaced by other great nations. For our world we can see that our society also has grown, has come to a very high point, but now, we also can see we are going backwards. We have reached the high point and come to the point of return. The industrialisedWesternworld, is in a state of decline, though many refuse to see that this is going on and why it is going on. Others are convinced we still have a beautiful future before us with lots of new inventions that shall make our life easier. True, lots of new things shall make our life easier … but at what cost?

    Many shall not see that this decline that cannot possibly be reversed by our incessant barrage of misguided economic and political “fixes”. For others, the ‘coin may drop’ and they shall by the scarcity be enabled to make sense of a world that is experiencing the most profound paradigm shift in human history.

    Though the majority is convinced that technology shall continue to make the best for our living environment, the abundance shall be choking us figuratively. Mankind drowning in the swamp he has created himself. Mainly because the leaders of our nations have their eyes fixed on growth and on more and more gains, instead of on endurance and liveability for all and not for a few.

    As peNdantry noted in one of his comments on my article “What effect does population have on climate change?” inequality on this globe is the problem we need to address. But this is not something the rich of the earth will want to see. They do not want to give up their expensive toys and wasteful habits. With all their might, therefore, they will defend themselves against all those green guys and ‘leftists’ or ‘communists’ who warn the world about the dangers of our gluttony and urge us to live differently and better. For those richest, those ‘green guys’ and ‘earth lovers’ are the enemy and obstructionist. However, it is these warners and whistleblowers that one would do better to listen to if one wants to have a good future.

    The wealthiest do think they own not only this earth or planet, they are convinced they have the whole universe for them and therefore love to go into space.

    It’s clear that most people have a low understanding of the breadth and richness of the work being done in space today. Perhaps because the technology deployed is essentially invisible, people do not appear to understand the role space is already playing in their everyday lives, nor its potential to deliver a brighter future for our planet. Every day we use already so much of the things we planted there in space.

    People aged 55+ remember the Space Race, NASA’s shuttle programme and all the wonder attached to space at that time. One day we all sat i front of the television with great awe, hearing about that little step from a man but a great step for mankind (the first man on the moon) Now youngsters are more likely to follow billionaires like Musk and Bezos on social media.

    The world was captivated by the first Space Age and all the wonder it brought with it, like rocket launches and Neil Armstrong’s iconic Moon landing. Yet the feats achieved today, many of which were unimaginable back then, such as missions to Mars, the first all-civilian spaceflight and the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, do not elicit the same excitement.
    Gen Zs, who have grown up with technological advances, seem to take the data and virtual voice they rely so heavily upon for granted, without considering its cradle.

    Communication satellites reduce emissions in our skies by optimising flight routes and enabling planes to fly more safely and closer together. Satellite technologies also allow the shipping industry to reduce its carbon footprint by implementing more efficient and cost-effective operations. And through satellites, farming can adopt IoT technologies to maximise crop yields. The list is endless.

    So, you could say space can help us to solve certain problems here on earth. Imagine self-riding electrical vehicles, not using fossil fuels and as such not contributing to air pollution. though we may not forget, for space to enable sustainability on Earth we must ensure sustainability in space.

    We human beings do not have to fear our earth shall be overcrowded. There is space enough, but we have to use it properly, and using space outside our own space can help us to have everything here ordered. From connecting people on land, sea and air, and keeping trade flowing, even amidst a global pandemic, to enabling sustainable travel and business as concerns around climate change becomes more critical, we should constantly be aware of the tremendous opportunities space affords us.

    At the same time, making good use of the space around us, we will then have to make better use of the resources available here on earth.

    Just as the Dutch used their scientific knowledge to reclaim a lot of land from the sea, we will now have to make the most of it to combat global warming, to keep land from salinising or being flooded by the sea, as well as to combat desertification and, on the other hand, to make marshes more habitable and provide them with building structures to accommodate people.

    Marcus Ampe

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