The Real Cause of Global Warming: Too Many People

Why isn’t this topic being discussed by those going nuts about global warming? To me this is the biggest factor on either side of the argument.

Before medicine, people died often and early, keeping the population low and limiting growth. In the last 100 years we’ve about doubled the life expectancy for people. Many conditions that would have prevented people from conceiving a child only 50 years ago are being eliminated, sometimes resulting in people having an entire litter of rug rats. Oh, and don’t forget that the fertility age of both sexes have also been greatly increased, so we can pop out kids for 3-4 decades.

What’s my point? In 1900 the world population was estimated to be around 1.6 billion. In 1960, it was around 3 billion … almost double in just 60 years. Since then, less that 50 years later, we’ve more that doubled the world population again! Can you believe it?

Call me crazy, but if we’re worried about the environment, about the resources of the Earth, about hungry children, about disease, about everything on this planet, we really need to take an honest look at how many people are on it. In addition to doing something about the burning of fossil fuels, or deforestation, or toxic waste, or promoting recycling we should be telling people to stop having so many kids!

People argue that it’s their biological right to procreate. While that may be true, it should come with some sense of responsibility. We’ve believed for so long that having a big family is a good thing … but where did that belief come from? Was it religion (“be fruitful and multiply”)? Was it from our farming ancestors (needing help in the fields)? What about for protection (the village/clan/country needs a strong military)? How about the fact that we’re essentially just another type of animal with a strong instinct to reproduce? Wherever it came from, we need to recognize that those beliefs are no longer going to work if we want to sustain a livable environment here on Earth.

We’re at the top of the food chain. There are no predators to control our population. Science has conquered diseases. Modern society abhors violence, so we aren’t killing one another in sufficient numbers to balance things out. Education and technology have enabled us to produce food in enough quantities to feed everybody (whether or not it’s getting to those who are hungry and/or just being wasted by rich countries is a different topic of discussion). The human population is no longer being kept in check as it once had been for much of our history.

Sure it sounds like some crackpot theory. I admit that, but to me it’s just about the math. If you have an environment that can only produce so much and organisms that need to share it and balance their output to ensure the replenishing of resources, it just makes sense that when one organism becomes out of balance, other things get knocked out of balance as well. Extinction of species is happening at a rapid pace now, especially as we start carving up and re-engineering the natural balance of an area. It leads to a cascading failure that must stop at some point. When will we reach that point? Will we even be around to see it?

There is hope, however. People are becoming more aware of the effects of pollution and their impact on the environment on a global level. Whether or not they’ll do something about it remains to be seen. I’m no saint, either. I’ve made many adjustments to my lifestyle over the last few years that reduces the impact my son and I have on the environment, but I know we could do more.

Hell, I don’t know if this makes much sense, but I felt like getting it out of my brain. Hopefully I was able to get my point across. Thanks for listening.

This entry doesn’t know how to fix it, either.


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