TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Debate: Should we endlessly assist population expansion?

I was intrigued by Magnus Larsson and indeed other TED talkers about helping with the desperate plight of people in Africa, for example the chap assisting with clean water and his 15nm filter.

But being a long view sort of chap, I immediately wonder if the best thing for the dirt poor isn't contraception. This may sound harsh, but I am no eugenics nut, this is not about picking cultures or races.

Also I wish no ill to any living people, they should receive aid, but the biggest taboo in modern science and political strategy seems to be overpopulation.

For anyone not knowing, please look at the world population figures for the past few hundred years, they cannot be overstated.

Simply working on keeping communities alive, finding renewable energies and looking to feed people is treating the symptoms, not the plague. And people, human beings are the plague.

Why is nobody asking questions like, just how many people do we want to support on this planet? Not even - how many can we support?

Now think of a world with 1 billion people. Or less. How's about several hundred million. Those people can live spread across the world according to available resources. We could still improve on our pollutions but decreasing the population seems to me to immediately fix most of the world's problems, and I don't see a down side. Why do those that want children need more than two? And really, why more than one?

Then the other counter to initiatives like Magnus' is, SHOULD we interfere with nature on the scale that he proposes? Do we really think we know the true consequences of something like that? Ask yourself, why is the desert swallowing green belt? Is it because humans interfered?

I have grave concerns that if you feed everyone, and provide their other basic needs through technology, without any cultural revolution, that overpopulation will simply and VERY rapidly throw up the next major problem, and that this may risk life on this planet.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Oct 28 2012: I am for any decrease! As time has proven, mother nature controls all growths...since we can not ourselves it will be done for us...as for-tolled.

    Man reasons by way of elimination/separation...the Earth survives on unquestioned acceptance of all...so no, thinking that the poison of greed is just on one side of the wall would only be sold by the guy who wants to build the wall...unless his desires are pure, even if greed will take it away after it is up...so no long term benefit.

    Religion is corruption? But you guys have the belt and that is a scary group, not to mention Mormons! What a bunch they were/are. In a world of 50/50 ratio with male to female these guys hide their desires by trying to convince rational minds the truth is to have multiple wives...so what happens to the other 40% of males to do? That's all prehistoric crap where the alpha male took everything including the best of the best.

    And maybe pigs will fly...the only changes possible in this and any day and age is if it leaves man in power which he is already, most change removes that...so...

    First we have to agree what we are before anything can happen and to use the ones we have well there is an old saying...idiocy is the attempt to do the same thing over and over expecting a different response...

    If you want that answer, you will have to ask...
    • Oct 28 2012: You clearly still think I am an American. Else you need to revise your geographic understanding of Mormonism. Please see my response to TED Lover below.

      Does "the belt" refer to the bible belt of America?

      Your writing is hard to follow, very poor use of English in malformed spasms of disjointed phrases. Are you familiar with the theory of proof-reading? It's not a cult.

      As I just wrote below, I have grave concerns if nothing stops our overpopulation, as quality of life would be gravely affected for humans, and most of the natural species of the planet would be destroyed as urban sprawl swallows up the land and we finish off the rainforest.

      As for your foretelling of nature controlling all growths, human history is thus far the clear exception. Perhaps nature will cull us, thin the herd, but with our ingenuity, this would require something nasty and I'd rather not push it to that point.

      Your bit about changes removes power from men, does not correlate with my understanding of anything at all, if that is the summation of the opinion, then I simply disagree. But it sounds like half a thought, so maybe there's more.

      Your last sentence is pure gibberish. As is the paragraph before it, save the incorrect quote of Albert Einstein when he defined Insanity (not idiocy) as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

      The bit about the Earth surviving on acceptance, suggests to me you are attempting a failed metaphor perhaps. The Earth is in fact a planet. Planets survive as long as they maintain orbit and from a technical standpoint, are large enough to be categorized as a planet. Planets cannot offer acceptance.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.