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Controlling Ourselves

Over Population
Suicidal Trend of
Population Explosion

Posted on October 8, 2011

Population control has been written about numerous times, but has really not made an impact on the way we think about it. The very idea of population control is so abhorrent to most religions and cultures that it is almost taboo to even think about it. But one day, having to control our population will become a necessity that has to be confronted. We... have a date with destiny.

Our very sustenance depends upon the biology of the planet. We nourish ourselves from that biology. The air we breathe is also a product of that biology ... at least the oxygen part. Population expansion threatens our very ability to survive as a life form on planet Earth. We cannot continue population expansion because Earth has a limited capacity to fulfill the needs of our constantly expanding population. Literally, as we advance in numbers, we are destroying the food chain so necessary for our existence. Lands that can be used for farming are also ideal for human habitation. Even if humans decided to move to the marginal areas or build ever higher with their apartments and condos, we would soon run out of options when we try and feed our bulging numbers. Feeding is only one part of the equation, our energy requirements go up exponentially as we add more of ourselves to the planet.

Each human on this planet requires energy. People use energy to move about, energy to cook, energy to heat and cool, and energy for the generation of that energy, none of which is efficient. Our industrial complexes emit vast amounts of waste heat into the atmosphere. The waste heat produced from the use of all that energy is having an effect on global climate.

Soon, moral choices will have to be made to curtail our birth rate. We are also going to have to figure out just how many people can be supported on Earth without creating havoc and ruin.

Human population is already responsible for a strained ecology. But that is a topic for another article. Controlling our population is the subject at hand and I begin with the elderly problem.

The Elderly: Nothing demands more economically or emotionally than caring for those once vibrant souls who have outlived their ability to contribute their energies toward sustaining themselves. The elderly are an easy target. A decision concerning the maintenance of the elderly is already a topic of the Obama healthcare law. You may recall Sarah Palin's remark about the "death panels" present in that law. Obama has even spoke to the logic of just administering a pain pill. Yes, eliminating the elderly would certainly free up resources. However, the elimination of the elderly would be more of a solution to an economical problem than an over population solution.

Wars and Natural Calamities: Some pundits speculate that war is nature's way of preventing over population, but we multiply faster than the kill rate of say nothing of the suffering from such a calamitous solution. Although humans love that victorious feeling from winning a conflict, we can live without such euphoria. The human misery alone from such undertakings is enough to make all of us want peace. Yet, wars persist. Wars become the final arbiter for political and religious differences. And, bear in mind, no conflict resolution is without a loser ... the loser's misery is compounded by defeat.

For those reasons, we can eliminate war as a method of population control. So what about natural calamities? So far, hurricanes, tornados, floods, Earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, pestilent swarms, disease, or droughts have not had any significant effect on population expansion. Our birth rate still outpaces our death rate. Are there any solutions? If I had one I would tell you about it. Every solution I can think of has its problems.

We could, for instance, limit the birth rate to the death rate. But that means we would have to wait on an old person to die before a new child could be born. We would create a population of mostly old people. We live a lot longer than we used to and the average age of such a controlled population would increase. And we note that living longer does not go hand in hand with the energy and vigor needed for accomplishment. For that we need the young. Until the problem of aging is solved, we will continue to need young people to carry on life's tasks that old people are disinclined or unable to do.

It has also been suggested that we screen our breeding pairs to prevent those with unwanted traits from reproducing. Hitler was unsuccessful with his efforts to build the "master race", but the idea is still on the radar screen. Already, sperm banks sell sperm donations from great thinkers, blonde headed, blue eyed, athletically inclined, musically inclined, short, and tall. For the right price, you can just about custom build a baby with the traits that you want. It's not exactly building the master race, but the idea does have the smell of creating superior people. As a side note to tinkering with favored traits, research will predictably be able to make changes to DNA that will fundamentally change our character traits, disease resistance, and physical make up.

Sterilizing idiots and those known to pass unwanted genes to their offspring would arguably improve our culture. We could sterilize disease carriers and even certain racial traits if we carried the idea to its logical conclusion.

Future generations are going to have to decide how to preserve themselves and limit their population. Since I consider myself to be a right wing conservative, I think population control should begin with Democrats... (Just joking!)

Robert welcomes your comment to this or any other of my commentaries.

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Greatest Challenges--- The challenges of our time are not world peace, economics, or political problems. Our challenges lie in controlling our expanding population and reducing our waste heat output.

Our Changing Earth-- The Earth is changing - for better or worse. Human activities are reshaping our planet. We may elect to allow the changes or -- do what is necessary to maintain it as is.

Ecosystem at Risk-- Trying to look the other-way in the face of logical and scientific evidence demonstrating human activity is reshaping our climate and the ecosystem only wastes intellectual pursuit.