Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Overpopulation

While my main reasons for not wanting to have children are personal (not wanting to sacrifice the time, money and freedom I currently have), the childfree community has also made me much more aware of social reasons to remain childfree. One I really have become concerned with is the fact that the world is desperately overpopulated.

Deforestation, food and water shortages, global warming, the generation of more and more trash, and the spread of disease are just a few of the social problems caused by our currently bloated world population of over 6.5 billion (and growing at a rate of approximately 80 million per year). Here are a few sobering statistics:

-According to the World Resources Institute, agriculture has displaced one-third of temperate and tropical forests and one-quarter of natural grasslands already.

-The United Nations indicates that about 850 million people worldwide are malnourished or starving, and 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.

-As many as 400 million people are at risk of starvation because of drought and crop failure.

-3 million people are killed worldwide by outdoor air pollution annually from vehicles and industrial emissions.

-Global warming will force hundreds of millions of people out of coastal regions in the next century or so.

-The population of the U.S. tripled during the 20th century, but the U.S. consumption of raw materials increased 17-fold.

-Every 20 minutes, the human population grows by about 3,000. At the same time another plant or animal becomes extinct (27,000 each year).

-By 2050, world population is projected to reach nine billion, a 38% jump from today's 6.5 billion, and more than five times the 1.6 billion people believed to have existed in 1900. Most of this growth will be concentrated in developing nations.

Obviously, I could go on, but it's difficult to truly address the crisis in depth in a single blog post. I hope the above gives you some idea of what I'm getting at.

It's easy for my husband and me to contribute to solving this problem, since we don't want kids anyway. However, it's also my firm belief that, even among the childed, no socially responsible couple should be having more than two children (enough to replace the current population), and even that may be too much.

Drastic? Maybe. But massive problems sometimes call for drastic solutions.

1 comment:

Mel said...

Great post! I completely agree. I really never thought about the social issues of not having children either. I just always knew I didn't like children in the least and didn't want to have them. However, I feel like each day I uncover at least one more reason not to have kids.

I found a video a while back about the ecological impact that the average suburban family has on the environment and posted it on my blog. It really makes you think. Unfortunately, we're the ones that are thinking about it and don't have kids when the rest of the world seems like they couldn't care less and are out there breeding away.