Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Overpopulation Needs to Taken Seriously

Causes need champions.  Whether it be Band Aid and Bob Geldof for the famine work that commenced around the Ethiopian famine in 1984, or even more recent examples of Bono and other celebrities as motivators of supporters and even drivers of the cause, across a wide spectrum of activities.

Overpopulation of our planet has always been a tricky issue in how to deal with it.  Is it real, will it affect the economic development and untimately the political ascendancy of countries or individuals, or will " I " be disadvantaged - a serious idea according to some.

Recently a US celebrity [ Alexandra Paul ] gave a talk to a TEDx meeting at Topango in California.  So who is she you might ásk as I did [ but I am not a TV or film media watcher]?  Check yourself here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Paul
Alexandra explains correctly that modern man first showed up on earth 200,000 years ago. By 1830 there were 1 billion people on the planet. Therefore, it took 200,000 years for humans to put the first billion humans on earth. The second billion we added in just 100 years. Now, we add 1 billion people every 12 years. And in 2011, the human population reached 7 billion people.

To give you an example of how fast the population grows, Bangladesh had a hurricane a few years ago that catastrophically killed 139,000 people. As a point for comparison, the population growth in Bangladesh is 139,000 new births every 2 ½ weeks!

In her talk, Alexandra says “forcing people to have fewer children doesn’t work. The fastest, most efficient way to stabilize the human population is to send girls to school and Empower women. And give everyone access to, and education on, birth control".

The talk concludes with her encouraging everyone not be afraid to talk about the overpopulation issue: "It is not about taking rights away, it is about giving opportunities to women, children and future generations".

A video of the talk - click here for video link.

Some consider that we are moving towards an unsstainable population on the planet Earth.  Others are less sure but whatever - discussing the issue and advocating sensible options is vital.  There is no doubt that history would indicate that the solution advocated by Alexandra Paul does have cred, and is increasingly the norm even in those regions of so called less development.  But part of that is also management of many simple diseases.  My own experience of working in less affluent regions is that most families have had some form of child mortality that was caused by easily fixed problems including gastro, measles, whooping cough and similar diseases that are preventable or can be fixed, as well as malaria and dengue [ at least manageable in simple ways to reduce problems].  

Where schooling for girls and education for women in general occurs then family size is regulated, and so population is moderated.

Is it a no brainer to work more towards the goal of female education?


1 comment:

Danielle Uidam said...

Over population is a huge issue. I just finished writing a novel, The Malthus Conspiracy, and although fictional, it highlights some of the issues that Malthus outlined, and some of the issues today. I hope more attention is drawn to the issues overpopulation brings! http://amzn.com/B00B3SV3RW