World’s population reaching unsustainable highs?

February 1, 2007

I have read an article in http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/013107LA.shtml where we are alerted about the enormous increase foreseen for the world’s population in the near future. The news is that it will be about 10.5 billion and the author of the article contends that “contraception should be put back at the top of the agenda for international efforts to alleviate global poverty”.

It seems a logical step to take that pills and condoms be used massively to avoid what is perhaps the beginning of the end of the humankind. It seems a logical step to be taken that we curb the growth of the population to “avoid global poverty”, “tackle starvation” and “even help to avert global warming”, according to  a report by MPs released yesterday that challenges governments to put contraceptives and condoms at the centre of their efforts. So far so good, it seems logical.

But again the common human beings are blamed for the ills of this world and while this is so, we might as well analyse what is behind global poverty, starvation and global warming. Indeed we might.

The words global and globalisation are frequently used nowadays to boastfully describe how the economies of the world are changing and improving. Behind them a change in tack of the activities of multinationals and corporations is hidden. It is globalisation for the almighty companies which are settling themselves in places like India and China where the standards of living are lowest and where their exploitation of the human being is easier and cheaper. The activities of these corporations are also in great part responsible for the upsurge in migrations around the world, thus making the countries where they – the corporations – had been established so far the poorer.

For people with families the main, essential need is to find a safe place where they can raise their standards and feed and dress, and, if any money is left, educate their families and themselves. Very human and very natural.

But I observe that the idea of those corporations is set up capitalism in those regions with a potential market above the standards they are used to in the Western World. Asia is the habitat of billions of human beings, of potential consumers whose majority, besides, are starving to death and whose expectancy of life is half that of the Western World. China has proved that it is manufacturing under this globalisation enough to supply the West, that it is raising its standards at the expense of the populations that were left behind by those corporations that have set up tent in its territory.

China has for a long time now been trying to curb the growth of its population, not so India. It is known to us all that between the two Asian giants their population is nearly half of all the inhabitants of the Earth. Therefore I am thinking that perhaps what should be sought after all is try to put pressure on those places where the population growth is out of the normal as compared to their capability of sustenance. In the West there exist already problems because the growth of its population has been under control for a long time now. In Japan, there are moves to encourage its population to grow, to have more children. That is Japanese are encouraged, while Chinese and Indians are discouraged, and I wonder why this move to curb the growth of the population is not addressed to the relocation of people, not forgetting the use of those contraceptives. That is moving people from China and India to Japan, as an example.

Europe is starting to fear immigration. There is concern about the need of any more immigrants in the continent, but immigrants have come and keep coming because of the European Dream, as long time ago Europeans migrated in search of the American Dream. But Europe, that long ago took measures to avoid dangerous growth, is now growing in population because of that migration and Europe is bound to be a continent of poor in the image of Asia in the not too distant future.

Zillions are wasted in wars, but meagre millions are spent in sustenance of the needy.

Those zillions spent in wars are returning juicy profits to investors, the millions spent in poverty also return profit in terms of fiscality to those who give them.

And I would also like to ask what have religious prejudices got to do with the whole issue, because I understand they have much to do.

In the meantime those who have been elected to deal with poverty take their time in lengthy discussions and meetings where no effective conclusions and decisions are ever reached.

Others, not elected but simply there because of their special circumstances, limit their responsibility to watch and make sure their own interests are very well looked after.

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4 Responses to “World’s population reaching unsustainable highs?”

  1. tyger said

    There is an interesting paradox here. The left want an end to war and suffering, yet if these things were indeed eradicated, we’d have unsustainable population levels.

    My opposing argument would be that peace and economic stability usually bring a reduction in the growth rates. See Western and Japanese birth rates. Peace and prosperity brings population decline. The sooner we bring stability to Middle East (if ever), Africa, and democracy and opportunity to other trouble spots, the sooner people will take control of their families.

  2. Jose said

    Yes, I agree Tyger, there is a paradox here, but I think it is all the way round. In my opinion the decline in population brings prosperity in the short run but problems in the long run, as we have seen is the problem in Japan. The equilibrium here in terms of long duration of prosperity would be the utopian relocation of the excess, although perhaps it is not so utopian if we take into account the migration phenomenum.

    Spain had problems with the Social Security until immigrants were legalised, but again the problems will recur as the immigrating population becomes older and a domino effect could be the outcome.

    And this will also happen in Europe, untl Europeans realise that emigrating to Japan could be a solution.

    On the other hand we have the Arab countries and the exploitation of their natural resources by the almighty corporations. I am afraid though that if the resources are left to their legitimate owners to exploit, then a new source of energy would be used. But we, the West, could emigrate to the Arabian countries to find a living.

  3. anticant said

    People are not rational about reproduction issues. Malthus is unpopular because illogically thought “immoral”, but there is a grisly realism in his sombre view that the great population limiters are war, famine and pestilence.

    Jose, I don’t believe that a tolerant, civilized person like you would be happy living in an Arab country!

  4. Jose said

    Well, Anticant, I’d be happy living anywhere if I have to. I’d very much prefer Britain, of all countries, because it suits my thought of how a country should be, but Spain and more concretely the Canary Islands is alright for me for the time being, not that I have available much of this latter.

    It is true that there is no rationality in procreation, it seems humans have children because there is a inner urge to do so. It has been computed that wars give way to more births than should be advisable, while in peace and prosperity the situation is the reverse, less births as compared to more prosperity and idleness. But I link prosperity to peace and birth control, that is wars produce more life – at the time life is also extinguished – while the reduction in birth rates produces more prosperity and keeps this prosperity for long, until those who hold the pan by the handle – as we say here – decide it is time for more wars and start cooking them.

    It seems like a never-ending cycle. Or rather two cycles: one economic one vital, which are intermingled.

    And let us not forget natural disasters. Every time more frequent, every time more the slayers of human lives.

    And a question: do humans tend to procreate when their lives are at risk and is there an inexplicable inner impulse to do so by instinct? Well that was two questions really.

    Tyger mentions in his first comment that the Left want peace and an end to suffering. It is logical because normally the Left is composed by plain people of the streets who are those who “naturally” have much to lose in the case of wars and sufferance, this has always been so. The call to arms whenever the interests of those placed higher up are in jepopardy, those who do not walk the streets.

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