Planetary population problems

USA Today has come out with a new survey—apparently, three out of every four people make up 75% of the population.
~David Letterman

I couldn’t help it…sometimes the alliteration just happens.

Maybe it’s just me, but I recall that population used to be discussed a lot in conjunction with environmental issues. Granted, I could be wrong. I didn’t have the internet back then. Well, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement’s still around, anyway.

I think it’s safe to say that population is the single biggest environmental concern. It’s also the most difficult to deal with.

I could very well be mistaken, but it seems to me that a lot of people nowadays who bring population up in the conversation are generally referring to “them.” As in the so-called third world. Of course the joke is that while “they” make up most of Earth’s population, it’s “us” who use up the most resources. It’s also “us” who set the standard for what constitutes living well.

So which population should we target for downsizing? “They,” who, while numerous, only dream of Hummers and Big Macs, or “us” who, while few, have achieved these things?

Or should we downsize at all?

This is why I find the issue of population so damn sticky. I believe that every human being out there, from America to Zimbabwe, has rights that no government should take away. One of those is a person’s right to regulate their own reproduction. You should not be forced to bear a child, but at the same time, you should not be forced to not bear a child. Of course, some people just shouldn’t have children (my sister springs immediately to mind), but it’s their right to bear arms children armed children if they so choose. Even if they intend on producing their own small army.

So where does the right of a person end and the right of all of us to live in uncrowded conditions begin? I don’t know. I prefer to err on the side of allowing people the most freedom. Not because I believe that people will instinctively do “what’s right” (bullshit!), but simply because I wouldn’t like someone else tramping on my rights for the good of the whole. (Yeah, that’s aimed directly at you, TSA. You fucking bastards.)

On a completely unrelated note, it’s the day before Thanksgiving and I’m wearing shorts. I could get used to this global warming thing. Seriously. It’s nice out there.

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4 Responses to “Planetary population problems”

  1. I envy you your shorts weather. It hasn’t gotten above freezing for about 48 hours, and there’s ice out there still.

  2. To be 100% honest, I think our best bet is going to be off-planet colonization. On the plus side, this seems to be something we’re actively working towards. Of course it’ll just start as tourism (space hotels ftw), but someone has to serve the tourists, and those people will likely live up there longer-term. Give that a decade or so and you’ll probably have people living out there semi-permanently. Then all we need to do is gather resources from other rocks in our solar system, which I guarantee isn’t too far off the radar either.
    I really think the hardest part will be convincing people to go, but I know that I, at least, will be all for it.

    • dargon Says:

      Sign me up for the “it ain’t coming back” ship to mars.

      That being said, it is a tricky issue. While population is an issue, the really big part of me that is rather a fan of freedom and liberty has a major issue with population control.

      And a cold front has moved through Dallas already. If it hasn’t hit the BCS yet, it’ll probably hit later. It’s in the upper 30’s right now, though yesterday was beautiful.

  3. I agree with much of what you write and I love your sense of humour – this is a topic where there are so many shades of grey and not just totally black and white. On another note, I’m typing this all the way from Queensland Australia and it’s always warm here – although we’re close to the equator it could also have something to do with our destruction of the ozone layer :)

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