By Andrew Field
Simon Osborne writes in The Independent today, “There are, according to the estimate for this month, 6,790,062,216 people in the world. It’s hard enough to say the number, never mind picture those people. You could round it up to a less tongue-twisting 6.8 billion, but does that make such a frightening figure any easier to compute? When you try, do you see faces, or just more brain-frying strings of digits?”
He continues, “The sheer vastness of the data we gather in our attempts to understand the world around us has been challenging statisticians since the earliest censuses. The “size of Wales” approach to number-crunching is popular among headline writers; but is it helpful, for example, to imagine the global population in terms of 75,445 Wembleys, or, indeed, 2,341 Waleses? The numbers are still too big.”
I can remember when the world population was being estimated at just 4 billion. Someone wrote to me the other day and told me the following. He said, “Last night we attended a climate change debate. Both sides were well informed and argued with intelligence and passion. Both sides generally agreed on the issue of over-population but then spent nearly all their time arguing their scientific differences and the issues of carbon capture.” He found himself wanting to scream “the elephant in the room is over-population”.
He continued, “The scientific debates i.e. human activity causing climate change; carbon capture to reduce pollution is extremely important and adds to overall knowledge. However, none of this will save our planet if the most dire predictions turn out to be true.
The proposition that the world is dangerously over-populated can probably attract universal agreement. Over-population is slowly killing the planet, we must face this problem. We should stop ignoring “the elephant in the room” and face the facts. Reduce world population or perish. This can be done though international governmental policy and carried out with compassion and sensitivity. We cannot ever condone draconian measures.
Until we confront the truth of over-population and face the religious objections, we remain doomed. So next time you listen to a climate change debate and “the elephant in the room” is not adequately discussed, please stand up and make the obvious point.”
He is absolutely right. I found this quite interesting, because I have been shouting this from the tree tops for a while now! The human species will eventually exterminate itself, taking with it all other species. I guess the politicians will be the last to go.
I do wonder though if issues of national pride, and politics or religion, will ever allow systematic human population control (or better still, decline). I wonder, too, if those who save countless lives, from famine and endemics, will allow infringement of their ethic to save. One wonders as well how you can reconcile blatant United Nations passivity in times of war and human suffering, death and destruction, caused by politicians, versus their more rapid and incredibly positive response to natural endemics and disasters (i.e. acts of God). Just look at the fuss about Swine Flu.
Clearly the catalyst for human population decline must be active at both ends of the human cycle, in birth and death. A major religion, with influence over a substantial portion of Christianity’s 25% of World population, forbids artificial control of inception or early termination at either end of the life cycle, while the largest populated country, apparently heathen China, with another quarter of the World’s population, actively limits human reproduction.
Politics, and for that matter religion, being the key cause of warfare and untold human suffering and death, cannot be reconciled to political thinking on matters such as early termination of life either end of the cycle, capital punishment, their anti smoking crusades and so many other issues fostered by ‘nanny’ states to save lives. They could certainly never reconcile themselves to a more passive, or non, response in times of natural endemics and disasters.
I fear we only have the catastrophe solution left to us. We are doomed, but it will come and go quickly!