The landscape is barren. Think Easter Island. Over 98% of the country, including the mountainous areas, has been deforested. Eleven million people live on this small pile of rocks.
Globally, we're in a Great Extinction Event. The mess is most evident in places like Haiti and Africa, but our reaction is to send some food, medical aid and UN troops. It seems like the root of the problem, overpopulation, will be ignored until we reach a point at which no technology will be able to save our interconnected bacon. If we haven't already reached it.

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The problem with not sending any food to overpopulated starving people is that if they don't have any food, they are more likely to hunt endangered species.

Here's a question: how do you feel about curing diseases? I admit the first thing I usually think is "great, now the population will get even higher".
They will destroy everything they can get their hands on if the sacks of grain stop arriving. If the sacks of grain continue, however, their numbers will increase even faster and they will destroy everything they can get their hands on at an even faster rate. There is no solution but population control and if it isn't too late already, it soon will be. We can't seem to overcome the natural drive to utilize all available resources to increase our numbers until the inevitable catastrophic die-off. We've come close to breaking a standard biological cycle but I think we'll fall short.
Why only worry about animals, plants are in just as much danger.

I say stop giving aid to other nations. I feel by doing this we are helping them be reckless. If a country or people want to survive they need to take care of their land and animals. They also need to build a social structure that maintains that. Now I'm not saying that any nation in the world does this perfectly. Some just do it better than others. Charity is not always a good thing.

The problem with disease is that it attacks the useful members of society as well as the useless. Its in our interest to seek cures. However the creator of the cure doesn't have to export it. Should we pick and choose who gets a cure? No. That is assuming that there is a unlimited supply. Arguing about who would be worthy of a cure if it was limited servers no real purpose, as there would be little rational decision making involved I'm sure.

If you want to lower the human population to lower the impact on the Earth. I think your best course of action is to let the natural world deal with it. So yes turn a blind eye.
Even this won't work. Enclaves of responsibility and affluence will diminish in size and be increasingly impacted by the rest of the world. We're too interconnected. If Iran and Israel have a nuclear exchange in 2031, we all get the fallout. How will Japan get its food and energy needs? We can't hide from depleted oceans and global warming. Technological societies will be hard-pressed to maintain present styles of living, though cooperative arrangements would keep them going far longer than going it alone would allow.

Put birth control pills in the food, and water.

Yes population numbers is the problem and there is no getting away from it. Is there an acceptable way to not just stabilise but reduce the population? The Chinese 1 child per woman policy definitely works as with a fertility of 1.54 and world position 183 out of 225 compares with India, 2.65 and position 81. Of the countries with relatively large populations Japan, 1.2 and position 221 is lowest. Afghanistan is the highest non African country at 5.5 in position 13. The top 12 for fertility are all African headed by Niger at 7.68. It is hard to see the Chinese method working outside of Totalitarian regimes for third world countries but what explains Japan? Generally first world countries have steady to negative population growth and are in the lower half with new Zealand and USA having the highest at 2.09, 2.06 and positions 122, 125 respectively. It could be speculated that affluence and education influences first world citizens to be more conscious of the financial consequences of too many children, especially when the relative higher fertility of poorer than average ethnic minorities, e.g. ~3.0 for Hispanics in USA is taken into account.

Further research shows literacy rates in India for women in 2002 were 48% and in China 87%. In Niger the figure is only about 10%. I’m no statistician but the inverse correlation between female literacy rates and fertility can’t be a coincidence! So is the answer to the planets population problem to convert some of the food aid to third world countries into education?

I have to admit when I started to write this I had no answer except some kind of draconian concept like China’s solution. Could the answer be as simple as better education???


Education would be the answer if we had time, resources and cooperation. We don't. So war, famine and all the other natural brick walls will solve the problem.

It is this drive, this basic instinct to reproduce and the subsequent overabundance of humans that will force our hand to go to the stars....

its all part of evolution isn't it?  Hell its why we left Africa for Europe, Europe for the Americas and next earth for the stars.

You're an optimist. Our biology is Earth-bound, predictable and past the point of no return. To quote the wilfully stupid, "The end is near." Just a coincidence that they got that one right.

I do choose to be positive.

Yes we may all go up in smoke prior to earthly pressure pushing us to the stars. But if this happens another life form will replace us and continue with the evolutionary struggle for the stars.....

I think the likelihood is still on our side that we won't kill ourselves off but probably only in the 60:40 range.

Not sure why i chose these numbers, just like the way they look....

I think there is a decent liklihood that some humans will survive but conditions will be pretty rough for them. Civilization, that increasingly flimsy house of cards, will be gone and its reemergence will take a long time, if it happens.
yes, maybe another genetic "bottle neck" i read about a while back, showing that man almost became extinct in not too distant past. Think this is based on our very similar dna showing we all came from a few; I think it was in the few thousands of humans at one point.


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