What is the greatest man-made threat to our planet’s survival?
In my opinion, the single greatest man made threat to our planet is our growing world- wide population – just the sheer number of us, and the inherent demands in places on available resources for our survival at a level that we are willing to accept.
Certainly there are other issues – changes in our climate, pollution of our waterways, overfishing in our oceans, – and many, many more, but all of those issues would be reduced if there were fewer of us fishing, clearing land, burning fuels to produce electricity or to heat our homes, or producing waste.
Modern science may help solve some of the issues population growth creates, for example, our ability to expand the amount of food production, but our understanding of science has its limits, and it can create controversy such as the acceptability of genetically modified organisms – GMO’s. In this one example, we must look to the sustainability of food sources over long periods of time and ascertain if they will meet the needs of the future earth.
I think we would generally agree that we all need certain resources to live. In descending priority we first need air to breath, clean water to drink, food to eat and shelter, or we might die of exposure over the course of months.
Think of it this way – country J currently has 40 million people. If country J is a third world country, it probably depends on aid from other countries to help sustain its population. Chances are that those resources are somewhat inelastic – they can grow a bit but they won’t stretch much year over year, and that increase is dependent on the goodwill of the donor country.
If the population of country J declines and still receives the same resources, then the amount available per person increases and so does their standard of living. If the population of country J continues to increase and its aid remains the same, then that aid is spread over a greater number of people. The population sees its standard of living decrease, as the amount per person is diminished.
Population control – a smaller population – means fewer people needing energy, food and resources. That should have a positive effect on many of the world’s issues.
What are your thoughts?
Originally posted 2015-07-09 22:49:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter