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Old January 31st, 2014 (8:26 PM). Edited January 31st, 2014 by Aeroblast.
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(The estimated size of human population from 10,000 BCE–2000 CE. - Wikipedia)



How much of a problem do you think is overpopulation today in various parts of the world? Do you think the current rate of population growth is dangerous? If so, is there any answer to decreasing it?
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Old January 31st, 2014 (8:33 PM).
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    The rate is dangerous but at the same time we need to develop colonies on moon, space, or Mars if we want to keep the population safe. If not, there be many people dead due to lack of resource and our population could be reduced by hundreds of millions if the problem isn't solved. In history, overpopulation in animals cause a near extinction for some of the species.
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    Old January 31st, 2014 (9:10 PM).
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      I had a discussion about this with BlahISuck a few months ago. It's really saddening that some people don't consider overpopulation as a real issue and instead as a myth, basically because all 7 billion people can easily fit in one city or state and blame us for not expanding our rural territory. Also, developing colonies in space is only a mere pipe dream, because anyone who has seen Wall-E should know that space will negatively affect our bodies, causing massive bone losses and weight gain. For someone who wants to stay fit, this is not our primary solution and instead find ways to decrease our population, unless we take Lysandre's method in a more realistic manner.
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      Old February 1st, 2014 (4:18 AM). Edited February 1st, 2014 by Banz.
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        More urbanisation would be needed to deal with larger populations. As the population rises, it puts more strain on the resources. I believe populations will stabilise in this century.

        This talk of reducing the population is easy on paper, but what are you going to do about it? Kill people? You can't have laws like the "one child policy" in China. Not only does it go against one's basic rights, it messes up with the age structure and a few years down the line you'll have lots of old people and a very few young people to support them.
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        Old February 1st, 2014 (4:34 AM).
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          I think the Georgia Guidestones shed some really interesting light on where our population should be. IIRC it said we should cap it at 6 billion. My understanding of this is not because we'd run out of room per sé, but because we'd run out of resources.

          These people who say we just need to urbanize need to take off their tin foil hats and come back into reality.
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          Old February 1st, 2014 (4:41 AM).
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            We have plenty of room on the world for tons and tons of more people. It's all just the fact that we have limited resources. The more people, the faster the resources get burned. That's the main problem with over population.
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            Old February 1st, 2014 (5:59 AM).
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              Most Populous Countries:-

              1) China
              2) India
              3) United States
              5) Indonesia
              4) Brazil
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              Old February 1st, 2014 (6:53 AM).
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                I would say states like Singapore and Japan suffer the most from overpopulation, mainly because the density is so high.
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                Old February 1st, 2014 (7:10 AM).
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                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by ®ock§mashGod View Post
                  These people who say we just need to urbanize need to take off their tin foil hats and come back into reality.
                  It would be imposible to deal with more people without urbanisation. The places that suffer the most are the ones which are underdeveloped and still have huge populations. Their resource consumption is low but the standard of living of those people is low as well.
                  It's not just the number of people - developed nations will always have higher resource consumptions. Australia is just 5 cities and barren land, yet their resource consumption is high. The same for a lot of the rich middle eastern countries.

                  Who gets to decide that we're overpopulated? Which of these 7 billion people is an extra? Population control takes time. The only thing that can be done is educate the people and hope they don't have 8 kids.
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                  Old February 1st, 2014 (7:15 AM).
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                    I don't think we will suffer from overpopulation anytime soon. Don't forget we have tons of land untouched by society. When it does become a problem, we need to conserve our forests and farmland. We get a lot of our oxygen from plants. We also need them as food supplies.
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                    Old February 1st, 2014 (7:18 AM).
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                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Crobatrulez20 View Post
                      I would say states like Singapore and Japan suffer the most from overpopulation, mainly because the density is so high.
                      Singapore is just one city. And their population density is low compared to most mega cities. Japan's problem is their age structure. The number of old people outnumber the younger ones.
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                      Old February 1st, 2014 (7:54 AM).
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                        And the Wages of People is also a concern in many Urban Areas! Its should be 1$ per working person who are around 25-60 years of age! But its Still low for many people!
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                        Old February 1st, 2014 (8:10 AM).
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                          Quote:
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                          Who gets to decide that we're overpopulated? Which of these 7 billion people is an extra? Population control takes time. The only thing that can be done is educate the people and hope they don't have 8 kids.
                          Exactly. We discuss overpopulation like there's some "cap" for which people born beyond it are a "problem". We all contribute to the consumption of resources and are all guilty for adding to this "problem".

                          At any rate, while physical room may an issue to consider, I think the bigger picture involves examining the global wealth/resource disparity. The West in particular uses far more than they need, and wastefully at that; surely, if there is any real way to tackle situation, it would involve addressing the misuse and misappropriation of our sustenance.
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                          Old February 1st, 2014 (4:18 PM).
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                          The most obvious problem related to overpopulation is the scarcity of resources. The Earth resources cannot be replenished at a faster rate than they're being used and unfortunately, that's when poverty happens. I take money into account as well. Thankfully, Canada has a minimum wage policy for workers, but in other countries they probably don't have enough money to go around or are not willing, leaving the rich to become richer and the poor, poorer. The elderly are living longer as well because of the technological advances in medicine and what-not. Personally, I think overpopulation is a problem as of current, with other countries suffering more than others.
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                          Old February 1st, 2014 (7:26 PM).
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                            Personally I really think people just stop with the babies, I mean having one is work enough, but if everyone just wants to have more than that, well we are about to have a serious problem, I mean earth is already screwed thanks to just a small group of people alone, I mean we already are the greediest bunch there is, just eating all of the very hard to come by resources, like fuel and oil, even though we have geothermal energy, solar power, and other means of getting resources without the use of all that billion dollar nonsense.

                            The government has all the reason in the world to not listen to what all the people are saying which they should but if they could just get of their lazy bums for once and actually deal with the problem, I don't thin we would ever be or been with any problems, but since they would rather stay on their high horse, it looks like we are going to have to suffer until the next revolution.
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                            Old February 1st, 2014 (8:11 PM).
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                              The main reason that they give birth to more children is that, 'they think more the members, more will be the family income'. This leads to two things overpopulation and child labour, the government should insure that every person should be given jobs with enough wages so that he can run a family of four.
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                              Old February 5th, 2014 (7:33 AM).
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                              I quite liked the solution in Dan Brown's book, if a bit extreme. So yeah, in a way I consider it a problem. But we're probably gonna find solutions for it, we kinda have to.
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                              Old February 7th, 2014 (2:54 PM).
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                                Educate everyone about sex, birth control, and to respect the environment.
                                Just like smoking and drinking, perhaps having too many children should be taxed too. A tax that increases the more your family is large...
                                I don't really know, these are just ideas for an issue that covers everything imaginable... from our culture to religion, economics, politics and so on...
                                Not only that, but such an issue won't be solved until a majority of countries comes to a solid agreement and takes action.
                                Has something like that ever happened? I don't think so. Usually one country wants certain resources and does everything it can to do so.
                                But not only countries as a whole can be held responsible for this: small and big industries, which speculate on everything possible to maximize their gain, not caring about the consequences that the 3rd world countries have to face.
                                The single individual too, has to educate itself about such issues. How can an entire population that doesn't care about problems find a solution to them? It simply won't happen.
                                Overpopulation may stem mostly from poor countries, but these countries are in that state partly because of us too.
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                                Old February 7th, 2014 (3:28 PM).
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                                Quote:
                                Originally Posted by griever7x View Post
                                Educate everyone about sex, birth control, and to respect the environment.
                                Just like smoking and drinking, perhaps having too many children should be taxed too. A tax that increases the more your family is large...
                                I don't really know, these are just ideas for an issue that covers everything imaginable... from our culture to religion, economics, politics and so on...
                                Not only that, but such an issue won't be solved until a majority of countries comes to a solid agreement and takes action.
                                Has something like that ever happened? I don't think so. Usually one country wants certain resources and does everything it can to do so.
                                But not only countries as a whole can be held responsible for this: small and big industries, which speculate on everything possible to maximize their gain, not caring about the consequences that the 3rd world countries have to face.
                                The single individual too, has to educate itself about such issues. How can an entire population that doesn't care about problems find a solution to them? It simply won't happen.
                                Overpopulation may stem mostly from poor countries, but these countries are in that state partly because of us too.
                                Simply educating people about sex and birth control won't help. I believe I read somewhere in one of my textbooks that there are times when sex education actually makes the situation worse. In terms of the Western culture, kids are rebellious and think they can do whatever they like without consequences. Shows such as Teen Moms and similar televised fiascos for instance. They depict females who inevitably became mothers, whether they wanted to or not, because of their poor choices. As for respecting the environment, individuals have their own set of values and to each their own. Sure, I would prefer if everyone on the Earth would respect our environments and take care of our resources, but that's not the case. There are other values that people hold that have precedence over simply saving the environment.

                                In regards to policies that keep people from having large families, China has been a country that allows only one-child per family for a while now. Not entirely sure how that has been working seeing as their population is still a substantial amount. Someone care to show a graph of China's population growth? Also, regarding the poor countries, sometimes they honestly don't have a choice. One of the reasons they have children is to marry them off to others in hopes of giving them a better lifestyle and that vicious cycle repeats. Developed countries could send the aid and necessary items such as birth control pills, contraceptions, etc. to help stabilize their population growth, but being the greedy societies that we are that would mean incurring costs and national debt for the sake of other countries.

                                It's honestly hard to control Earth's population as there is no single country that reigns supreme over others, otherwise that would end in chaos. As much as I would like communities and people to be environmentally conscious, thinking about the future for future generations, it just won't happen because we are greedy and selfish individuals. And we only make those traits worse by intensifying them as collective groups.
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                                Old February 9th, 2014 (2:18 AM).
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                                  My opinion is that overpopulation as a concept is "looking at the problem" wrong. I like to compare this the term "natural disaster". If there is a volcanic eruption, hurricane etc. in an area with zero population, it's a "natural event"; it becomes a disaster only if it affects people. In addition to this, what can be said to be the cause of a natural disaster? The short answer is "well, the eruption/storm etc.", but consider two societies being hit by the same event: one is a society with large income disparities, slum areas, bad infrastructure, corruption etc, the other is the opposite. Which one of these will be hit hardest? In all probability, the first one. Why? Because they have what are called different levels of "resilience" or capability to withstand/adapt to abrupt changes from normal conditions. In other words, the "root cause" of the problem isn't the natural event but rather a question of power relations, politics etc, or if you'd like, the main problems is society, not nature.

                                  This has been a long detour but I wanted to give you an example of the difficulties there might be to separate "cause and effect". In the case of population, the English cleric Thomas Robert Malthus was one of the first people to talk about "over population" way back in the 18th century, with arguments about the limits to population growth due to limited food supplies, resources and technology. Later on however, Ester Boserup argued that in times of crisis, mankind is able to invent new forms of technology/practices to deal with the situation. In other words the number of people isn't the real issue but the means available to provide them with necessities, and the latter isn't fixed.

                                  With regards to demography, according to a theory called "the demographic transition" there are traditionally four phases that are directly related to these sorts of means discussed above, in particular those that can keep child mortality down. Societies in the early stages have high levels of birth rates to keep up with high death rates among children. When the latter begins to fall, it takes some time for society to adjust and the population grows significantly until it levels out in the fourth stage with people living longer and having fewer babies - basically many "western" societies. This is all theory but generally it has held up surprisingly well. It might very well change in the future, but most societies have tended to proceed along these stages, meaning there isn't exponential and infinite population growth but rather different phases with different characteristics.

                                  Lastly, population has a geographical dimension, meaning that people can migrate from areas with large populations to other places with less population. Connecting the the above mentioned theory of the demographic transition, especially younger people are more prone to migrate and also move farther. Socieites with a large population increase are often characterized by a high amount of young people....

                                  This has been a very long post, so here comes the short version:
                                  1) Over population is a relative term that has less to do with the amount of people and more to do with they way societies are structured, including economic models, culture and habits of consumption.
                                  2) It's not likely that population levels will increase infinitely; in fact in many western countries most of the population growth comes from immigration - there is a natural decline in population numbers in these places.
                                  3) "Over population" often disregards the fact that people are mobile and not locked in one region, meaning things can to some extent "balance out"

                                  There are many more angles and points to make, but this post has been long enough. I just wanted to add some more basic demographic theory and concepts into the debate .
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                                    #21    
                                  Old February 9th, 2014 (3:34 AM).
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                                    I think it's a myth because I believe the riches in the world are too concentrated in th hands of a few. Overpopulation seems to be an issue in specific areas such as China and India, but in others we're experiencing a reduction in population because people no longer want to have children. Still, when you see there are people in the world who are absurdly rich and others have nothing, you can't help but think it's a problem of resource management and not overpopulation.
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                                    Old February 16th, 2014 (3:57 PM).
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                                    Quote:
                                    Originally Posted by Orogenes View Post
                                    My opinion is that overpopulation as a concept is "looking at the problem" wrong. I like to compare this the term "natural disaster". If there is a volcanic eruption, hurricane etc. in an area with zero population, it's a "natural event"; it becomes a disaster only if it affects people. In addition to this, what can be said to be the cause of a natural disaster? The short answer is "well, the eruption/storm etc.", but consider two societies being hit by the same event: one is a society with large income disparities, slum areas, bad infrastructure, corruption etc, the other is the opposite. Which one of these will be hit hardest? In all probability, the first one. Why? Because they have what are called different levels of "resilience" or capability to withstand/adapt to abrupt changes from normal conditions. In other words, the "root cause" of the problem isn't the natural event but rather a question of power relations, politics etc, or if you'd like, the main problems is society, not nature.

                                    This has been a long detour but I wanted to give you an example of the difficulties there might be to separate "cause and effect". In the case of population, the English cleric Thomas Robert Malthus was one of the first people to talk about "over population" way back in the 18th century, with arguments about the limits to population growth due to limited food supplies, resources and technology. Later on however, Ester Boserup argued that in times of crisis, mankind is able to invent new forms of technology/practices to deal with the situation. In other words the number of people isn't the real issue but the means available to provide them with necessities, and the latter isn't fixed.

                                    With regards to demography, according to a theory called "the demographic transition" there are traditionally four phases that are directly related to these sorts of means discussed above, in particular those that can keep child mortality down. Societies in the early stages have high levels of birth rates to keep up with high death rates among children. When the latter begins to fall, it takes some time for society to adjust and the population grows significantly until it levels out in the fourth stage with people living longer and having fewer babies - basically many "western" societies. This is all theory but generally it has held up surprisingly well. It might very well change in the future, but most societies have tended to proceed along these stages, meaning there isn't exponential and infinite population growth but rather different phases with different characteristics.

                                    Lastly, population has a geographical dimension, meaning that people can migrate from areas with large populations to other places with less population. Connecting the the above mentioned theory of the demographic transition, especially younger people are more prone to migrate and also move farther. Socieites with a large population increase are often characterized by a high amount of young people....

                                    This has been a very long post, so here comes the short version:
                                    1) Over population is a relative term that has less to do with the amount of people and more to do with they way societies are structured, including economic models, culture and habits of consumption.
                                    2) It's not likely that population levels will increase infinitely; in fact in many western countries most of the population growth comes from immigration - there is a natural decline in population numbers in these places.
                                    3) "Over population" often disregards the fact that people are mobile and not locked in one region, meaning things can to some extent "balance out"

                                    There are many more angles and points to make, but this post has been long enough. I just wanted to add some more basic demographic theory and concepts into the debate .
                                    What happens if you take overpopulation out of the relative context though? Or do you not believe the Earth being home to over 7 billion people is a problem? I understand your perspective in regards to overpopulation being an immediate problem in certain countries, which is completely true, but looking at the world as a whole it does raise a bit of concern, no? At least that's the way I see it. The reason why I see this issue as a potential problem is because of resources; they're not able to be replenished at the rate they are being consumed.
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                                      #23    
                                    Old February 18th, 2014 (11:39 AM).
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                                      Quote:
                                      Originally Posted by Vanille Sky View Post
                                      What happens if you take overpopulation out of the relative context though? Or do you not believe the Earth being home to over 7 billion people is a problem? I understand your perspective in regards to overpopulation being an immediate problem in certain countries, which is completely true, but looking at the world as a whole it does raise a bit of concern, no? At least that's the way I see it. The reason why I see this issue as a potential problem is because of resources; they're not able to be replenished at the rate they are being consumed.
                                      I do share your concern about resource depletion rates, especially with the current trend of "developing countries" wanting a more "western" lifestyle. I believe this is a problem especially when discussing issues such as climate change and environmental degradation. I also agree with you when you take the current situation of a rapidly increased population together with a rise in "consumer economies" and increased urbanization; there are lots of problems to tackle and population numbers do figure as a part of a lot of them.

                                      My point is that it is hard to neglect that "relative context", meaning that most of the aforementioned issues are connected to population increase but not necessarily created by it. In other words, I believe that debates that I think should be about things like equality, ecology, economy etc. turns into discussions about population. This, again isn't a problem per say as, again, population is definitley one factor in this equation, but it is one, not the. I've been having many of these kinds of discussions with people where the framing of the solutions turn from addressing these other issues to focus on things like birth control, migration quotas etc. It quickly becomes a case where people in "poor countries" are blamed for problems that in equal, if not greater part, has to do with people in "rich countries".

                                      So, what I'm trying to say is just that population is 1) part of the problem, but not "the" problem, and
                                      2) by framing it as a population problem, you risk focusing on the manifestations of bigger structural problems rather than the root causes. I hope this has clarified my reasoning a bit
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                                      Old February 20th, 2014 (2:23 AM).
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                                        In the short term, yes, overpopulation is a threat. This is because there are only so many resources to go around, and when the population increased, it places a tremendous strain on available resources. However, one thing to point out, the speed at which we are increasing the population is slowing, and some would even say reversing. We are now faced with the problem that more people are becoming senior citizens than are being born. More and more people are opting to have children later in life, and an increasing number of people are deciding that it is too much of a bother to have children, or who simply don't want children at all.

                                        While the population of the world is growing rapidly, you'll find that it is in only certain locations that the population growth is expanding. In other areas, the population growth is slowing dramatically. Pretty soon, I think, we're going to start seeing programs put into place incentivising people to once again think about having children. Because what happens when our population ages out?
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                                        Old February 22nd, 2014 (6:33 PM).
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                                        Age: 23
                                        Gender: Female
                                        Nature: Gentle
                                        Posts: 3,710
                                        Quote:
                                        Originally Posted by Alessi_sys View Post
                                        In the short term, yes, overpopulation is a threat. This is because there are only so many resources to go around, and when the population increased, it places a tremendous strain on available resources. However, one thing to point out, the speed at which we are increasing the population is slowing, and some would even say reversing. We are now faced with the problem that more people are becoming senior citizens than are being born. More and more people are opting to have children later in life, and an increasing number of people are deciding that it is too much of a bother to have children, or who simply don't want children at all.

                                        While the population of the world is growing rapidly, you'll find that it is in only certain locations that the population growth is expanding. In other areas, the population growth is slowing dramatically. Pretty soon, I think, we're going to start seeing programs put into place incentivising people to once again think about having children. Because what happens when our population ages out?
                                        On the matter of people not wanting children or having them later, that becomes a problem for the school system when elementary schools are not attracting enough enrolments and are inevitably closed down. This has happened to quite a number of schools in the neighbourhood where I used to live. Relatively, the increasing standard cost of living makes having children a turn off to couples as they may even find it hard to support themselves, never mind a child. The elderly population living as long as they are is a problem in itself considering there are only a limited number of retirement homes.
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