How should the world deal with overpopulation?

Posted by: PetersSmith

Another poll asked if overpopulation was an issue, but what should we do about it?

Vote
31 Total Votes
1

Extraterrestrial settlement

In the 1970s, Gerard O'Neill suggested building space habitats that could support 30,000 times the carrying capacity of Earth using just the asteroid belt and that the Solar System as a whole could sustain current population growth rates for a thous... and years. Marshall Savage (1992, 1994) has projected a human population of five quintillion throughout the Solar System by 3000, with the majority in the asteroid belt. Freeman Dyson (1999) favours the Kuiper belt as the future home of humanity, suggesting this could happen within a few centuries. In Mining the Sky, John S. Lewis suggests that the resources of the solar system could support 10 quadrillion (1016) people. K. Eric Drexler, famous inventor of the futuristic concept of molecular nanotechnology, has suggested in Engines of Creation that colonizing space will mean breaking the Malthusian limits to growth for the human species. It may be possible for other parts of the Solar System to be inhabited by humanity at some point in the future. Geoffrey Landis of NASA's Glenn Research Center in particular has pointed out that "[at] cloud-top level, Venus is the paradise planet", as one could construct aerostat habitats and floating cities there easily, based on the concept that breathable air is a lifting gas in the dense Venusian atmosphere. Venus would, like also Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, in the upper layers of their atmospheres, even afford a gravitation almost exactly as strong as that on Earth (see colonization of Venus). Many authors, including Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov, have argued that shipping the excess population into space is not a viable solution to human overpopulation. According to Clarke, "the population battle must be fought or won here on Earth".[264] The problem for these authors is not the lack of resources in space (as shown in books such as Mining the Sky[266]), but the physical impracticality of shipping vast numbers of people into space to "solve" overpopulation on Earth. However, Gerard O'Neill's calculations show that Earth could offload all new population growth with a launch services industry about the same size as the current airline industry. The StarTram concept, by James R. Powell (the co-inventor of maglev transport) and others, envisions a capability to send up to 4 million people a decade to space per facility.[268] A hypothetical extraterrestrial colony could potentially grow by reproduction alone (i.E., without any immigration), with most of the inhabitants being the direct descendants of the original colonists   more
13 votes
2 comments
2

Birth regulations

Overpopulation is related to the issue of birth control; some nations, like the People's Republic of China, use strict measures to reduce birth rates. Religious and ideological opposition to birth control has been cited as a factor contributing to o... verpopulation and poverty. Some leaders and environmentalists have suggested that there is an urgent need to strictly implement a China-like one-child policy globally by the United Nations, because this would help control and reduce population gradually. Indira Gandhi, late Prime Minister of India, implemented a forced sterilization programme between 1975 and 1977. Officially, men with two children or more had to submit to sterilization, but there was a greater focus on sterilizing women than sterilizing men. Some unmarried young men, political opponents and ignorant men were also believed to have been sterilized. This program is still remembered and criticized in India, and is blamed for creating a public aversion to family planning, which hampered government programmes for decades. Urban designer Michael E. Arth has proposed a "choice-based, marketable birth license plan" he calls "birth credits". Birth credits would allow any woman to have as many children as she wants, as long as she buys a license for any children beyond an average allotment that would result in zero population growth (ZPG). If that allotment was determined to be one child, for example, then the first child would be free, and the market would determine what the license fee for each additional child would cost. Extra credits would expire after a certain time, so these credits could not be hoarded by speculators. The actual cost of the credits would only be a fraction of the actual cost of having and raising a child, so the credits would serve more as a wake-up call to women who might otherwise produce children without seriously considering the long term consequences to themselves or society   more
7 votes
1 comment
3

Change social norms

Refrain from pressuring people to have children if they are not ready or prefer to remain childless. Some cultures value large families. This often suited a sparsely-populated farming or pastoral region, and sometimes remains as a holdover from thos... e times. Measures can be taken to model and emphasize the benefits of smaller families. Let's not glorify teen pregnancy with TV shows and tabloid magazines. Additionally in affluent countries, we need to shift away from a culture of excess and unsustainable consumption   more
3 votes
1 comment
4

Education and empowerment

One option is to focus on education about overpopulation, family planning, and birth control methods, and to make birth-control devices like male/female condoms, pills and intrauterine devices easily available. Worldwide, nearly 40% of pregnancies a... re unintended (some 80 million unintended pregnancies each year). An estimated 350 million women in the poorest countries of the world either did not want their last child, do not want another child or want to space their pregnancies, but they lack access to information, affordable means and services to determine the size and spacing of their families. In the United States, in 2001, almost half of pregnancies were unintended. In the developing world, some 514,000 women die annually of complications from pregnancy and abortion, with 86% of these deaths occurring in the sub-Saharan Africa region and South Asia. Additionally, 8 million infants die, many because of malnutrition or preventable diseases, especially from lack of access to clean drinking water. Women's rights and their reproductive rights in particular are issues regarded to have vital importance in the debate. "The only ray of hope I can see – and it's not much – is that wherever women are put in control of their lives, both politically and socially; where medical facilities allow them to deal with birth control and where their husbands allow them to make those decisions, birth rate falls. Women don't want to have 12 kids of whom nine will die." — David Attenborough. Egypt announced a program to reduce its overpopulation by family planning education and putting women in the workforce. It was announced in June 2008 by the Minister of Health and Population Hatem el-Gabali. The government has set aside 480 million Egyptian pounds (about $90 million US) for the program. The business magnate Ted Turner proposed a "voluntary, non-imposed" one-child family scenario. A "pledge two or fewer" campaign is run by Population Matters (a UK population concern organisation), in which people are encouraged to limit themselves to small family size   more
2 votes
1 comment
5

Urbanization

Despite the increase in population density within cities (and the emergence of megacities), UN Habitat states in its reports that urbanization may be the best compromise in the face of global population growth. Cities concentrate human activity with... in limited areas, limiting the breadth of environmental damage. But this mitigating influence can only be achieved if urban planning is significantly improved and city services are properly maintained   more
1 vote
0 comments
6

Use economic forces

Most people take their economic situation into consideration when planning their families. If they do not have housing and jobs they delay starting families. Birthrates rose during the housing bubble begining in 2002, but when the bubble burst and t... he 2008 recession began, birthrates dropped. Better economic policies in conjunction with slowing population growth worldwide, can help increase global prosperity. Our usual measure of economic progress, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has a built-in tie to population growth (i.E. More people means more economic transactions). This means GDP can rise with population while median household income (and well-being) actually declines! With the wrong measures we set the wrong goals   more
1 vote
0 comments
7

Selective breeding and promotion of eugenics

Selective breeding for humans is the process of controlling when, how, and if certain humans will be able to breed. This could include controlling the gender of born children, possibly increasing the female population and decreasing the male populat... ion. This could also possibly promote sterility and instead humans are selectively chosen to breed in a controlled and safe environment. Certain genes could be chosen as well, which may even prevent foreseen issues in the future, which is eugenics. Eugenics (/juːˈdʒɛnɪks/; from Greek eu, meaning "good/well", and -genēs, meaning "born") is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population. It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics)   more
1 vote
0 comments
8

Genocide

What better way to deal with overpopulation then to kill a bunch of people that are causing problems to this world?
1 vote
1 comment
9

Let nature take its course

Natural diseases, certain genes, and human nature in general are all ways that nature uses to curb human population growth. Plagues seemed to be an excellent way of reducing population as well as genetic deformations that cause sterility, death befo... re birth, or death right after birth. Humans don't need to act as nature will find another way of reducing the population should it get too out of hand   more
1 vote
1 comment
10

Mass Extinction of the Human Race

I desire the mass extinction of the human race. In doing so, we can preserve those who matter and start a new life on a new earth no longer plagued by humanity's filth.
1 vote
1 comment
11

Promote more births

The more people that are born the more people will die, it's as simple as that.
0 votes
0 comments
12

Another war(s)

In the year 2XXX the world is on the brink of destruction. The remaining nations of this world are clamoring for the last supplies of fresh water and uncultivated food. However, the need and desire for survival resources resulted in an all-out war. ... The Resource Wars lasted for around twenty years and resulted in the deaths of one billion people, not including those who died of natural causes. When the war ended, overpopulation was curbed and new life could grow in its place   more
0 votes
0 comments
13

Man-made disease

Nature may be unable to take its course in time. A simple man-made disease designed to kill a certain portion of the population, or those with certain genes, could easily curb the overpopulation issue. However, it needs to be controlled and it needs...  to be done quickly before it can get out of hand   more
0 votes
0 comments
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(Maximum 900 words)
donald.keller says2014-08-08T21:31:19.1754292-05:00
I could argue that overpopulation isn't an issue. That aside, anyone who votes for any of these should best avoid running for an office.
PetersSmith says2014-08-08T21:32:35.2315312-05:00
Donald.Keller: Do you have a better solution?
Stalin_Mario says2014-08-08T21:37:04.1159667-05:00
I could argue that overpopulation is a major issue. Anyone who thinks it's not an issue should best avoid running for office.
PetersSmith says2014-08-08T21:37:47.1725187-05:00
Donald.Keller: Hold, so let me get this straight: You feel that all of these options are terrible, yes? This also means that you feel that "let nature take its course" is also a bad option, which means you literally want to do nothing. Thus, you desire to not only do nothing, but to also prevent nature from doing anything as well.
reece says2014-08-08T23:39:06.2860708-05:00
We'll be farming and eating bugs for 9 billion people around 2050.They have already planned this out.
Formerland1 says2014-08-08T23:53:56.8588844-05:00
Why farm , we can clone stuff
reece says2014-08-08T23:54:39.8860243-05:00
@Formerland1 wouldn't that be a form of farming?
Kreakin says2014-08-09T03:17:06.3420055-05:00
We could just ignore the over population myth that only the naive and lazy would buy into. Do some none new age research away from the comic book papers and you will see there is plenty of room and resources. We just don't share them.
Haroush says2014-08-09T06:13:03.8491578-05:00
We have already began to reap the consequences of mass urbanization. We don't need to urbanize anymore than what we have already have, but we are probably going to do this anyway.
E115EnRaged935 says2014-08-09T16:19:45.5307607-05:00
1. Birth Controls. 2. Allowing abortion. 3. Other than that natural disasters and acts of God should play out the rest. God has a way of limiting our population. God has a way of putting nature in balance every time.
ABigBoy says2014-08-14T16:25:05.2555310-05:00
Here's a thought... How about people stop having so many damn kids?
PetersSmith says2014-08-14T16:27:41.1756494-05:00
ABigBoy: "Birth regulations"
ABigBoy says2014-08-14T16:28:04.9659544-05:00
There is no need for war or violence of any kind. We can handle overpopulation without any of that, people should just stop having so many kids and think before they act.
YamaVonKarma says2014-08-14T16:30:58.9767332-05:00
The problem is this. If people only have one child from here on out, we're still growing at a rapid rate.
ABigBoy says2014-08-14T16:31:04.5304400-05:00
It's not about survival anymore, it's about being accepted as "normal". Why else would there be teenage pregnancy?
Comrade_Silly_Otter says2014-10-15T11:45:43.2499459-05:00
We could expand the available resources while raising efficiency through Automation as well.
PetersSmith says2014-10-15T11:46:17.6128727-05:00
Comrade_Silly_Otter: Wow, you actually found it.
Comrade_Silly_Otter says2014-10-15T11:47:40.9325739-05:00
It was a long and hard journey of patience, perseverance, ( no ) romance, and adventure.
PetersSmith says2014-10-15T11:48:09.0904727-05:00
Comrade_Silly_Otter: And you already voted for it lol
EkaterinyaVladinakova says2015-09-05T21:33:49.3582183Z
I would vote if this was a multiple choice option. Also you are missing: Advancements in agriculture and technology related food production and energy (vitro meat, hydroponics, vertical farming, solar power, slow burn fission and fusion). The carrying capacity of the world is 10 billion or so, (though some estimates say we are currently way over the carrying capacity depending on how you look at it), but the number is not fixed. Better technology, better management of resources can increase this number. For the choices I picked: extra terrestrial settlement, birth regulations in which your benefits end after a certain # of children. You get child tax breaks for your first child, but none for your second. For example. (don't take this too far and do it properly, no human rights abuses). In India they did mandatory sterilization which pissed off a bunch of people and gave a bad taste in people about the idea of family planning and could do more harm to the population control movement than helped it. Change social norms. Education and empowerment and aspects of modernization such as family planning and contraceptives has been largely associated with decreases in birth rates in the developing world. This MUST continue.
EkaterinyaVladinakova says2015-09-05T21:48:17.9249860Z
Just to be clear, issues regarding birth control I was mainly talking about countries like India or those in Africa where limiting child tax breaks to the first child would make sense. In the west and in Japan, birth rates are already below replacement levels so for us, such a policy isn't really necessary.
PetersSmith says2015-09-06T00:45:48.9632886Z
EkaterinyaVladinakova: This poll is buried and I highly doubt anyone will even see these comments. Btw, your artwork is phenomenal.

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