TED Conversations

Dilann Yasin

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Should we start thinking about population control to save our species from resource depletion and maybe even extinction?

Everyday our population is growing larger and larger. We need to realize that if we keep growing our resouces will run out someday. We need to do something before that happens. What we should do about it, I dont know. But first, lets address the problem.

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    Apr 20 2012: Is it really population control we're after? Or wise stewardship of resources we already have on the planet?

    The reality is that there is enough resources for everyone on Earth if we use them wisely.
  • Dan F 50+

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    Apr 19 2012: The world is experiencing a depletion of the resources we depend upon as our world population continues to expand and develop. More alarmingly, we are paying an ever increasing price in terms of the negative environmental impacts that come about through the secondary affects of over utilizing some of these resources. The evidence that supports a need for immediate concern is overwhelming in the form of sound evidence and common sense.

    Population growth will eventually curb. We know that from biology. I do not envision human extinction, even in the event of a significant nuclear exchange between countries, but I can envision a deteriorating social and physical world environment. I'm not a doomsday man, but a realist.

    I am a USA citizen so I will confine my comments to what may well be best country in the world, despite our faults. We are also the most influential country in the world, unless we squander that power. The USA should stop rewarding citizens for birthing children. Easily accomplished by removing a large annual tax exemption for having a child. This is not imposed birth control, but a need to change a governmental policy that incentivizes having children. Secondly, we should virtually stop all permanent immigration into the USA. We need to do more, but a good start.

    Nice photo!
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    Apr 19 2012: Melinda Gates in her recent TEDxChange talk shared that women in the developing world want smaller families than they are having. Their argument is that they would like to give the best possible quality of life to their offspring, just as we all do. Gates' argument is that they should have this choice, not as a tool for population control but because it is what they want- family sizes more like what people choose in more affluent parts of the world. The purpose is not population control, but the effect would be smaller, healthier populations.
  • Apr 18 2012: Based on population growth prediction the growth is slowing down and it will peak in one or two decade. With increasing education in developing world population growth will slow even more as it was shown that women with more education and freedom have fewer children.

    I think we should rather focus on how we can encourage and support sustainable consumption and include real cost of environment degradation into our products.
  • Apr 18 2012: Once a population reaches the level that exist in the US and the richer countries of the EU, the population stops growing and starts a slow reduction.
    Start building schools and hospitals in all the areas where the population is growing. Education will take care of it.
    Switch to a different source of energy. North America can use the heat of super volcano Yellow Stone Park. Doing so they might prevent or at least delay its overdue, disastrous eruption which may be expected within two millennia and they won't need any fossil or nuclear fuel anymore. Divert say 20% of the money saved on fuel to the building of schools and hospitals. It will be more than needed. There a other solutions for other continents. (No, not wind turbines or solar cells, too expensive, not continuously and littering the horizon.)
    Within one or two generations they can drastically reduce the expenses on weapons and war. Look at Europe, they were at each others throat for millennia, now nobody want to risk his property by starting a war.
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    Apr 18 2012: Possibly. However, such an act should not be based from that perspective. As there are plenty of resources, but the problem is more of inequality and greed.
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    Apr 17 2012: No
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      Apr 17 2012: I like your simplicity. But what happens when we run out of resources?
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        Apr 18 2012: We will work it out, 100 yr ago people were saying the same thing when there was 2 billion people.