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Karl Morgan

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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.

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  • Oct 29 2012: In my country See Samuelson the employers have traditionally lowered wages by importing cheaper workers e.g. more people. In my state there is always someone who has too many horses for the horsefeed available Then there are terrible pictures of starving horses. People who like horses try to see that this person goes to jail - not an unreasonable idea. I think that there is traditionally a greater love of dogs and horses than people. Maybe we need to extend the idea expressed here to people and those who ruin our lives. People have been punished for other crimes against humanity in the past. What an idea!
    • Oct 29 2012: But we didn't starve Africa George, they persist, having children even though they starve themselves.

      Maybe western people did in the past, and maybe our culture and tech have changed native folks lives so that now they cannot look after themselves, but they are not domesticated animals.

      They are people, and as such, they hold some self determinism and responsibility.

      I now see that with stability and a baseline of wealth and education, the reliance on offspring to survive, essentially birthing a workforce, is diminished and populations are capped, but it's still way too high as far as I am concerned given the amount of space we use, for urban area, for farming, for water usage, for grazing, and for mining (of all things from hardwoods to coal).

      How much space we as a species take up on this planet is annoying to me as how little space we are given in our average homes. Perhaps an answer for both is more communal living, just a thought.

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