Overpopulation

Damon - Charlottesville, Virginia
Entered on April 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: environment

I believe that overpopulation will soon become the most pressing issue faced by humanity.

I just finished reading The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess, the main conflict and dystopian aspect of the book is overpopulation. To solve the overpopulation problem the government begins staging wars so that soldiers are killed. Some people even resort to cannibalism to keep the population down.

While I do not see our society becoming cannibalistic in the near future, I do see the toll that overpopulation is taking on the Earth’s natural resources. All around me I see the poverty that is caused by overpopulation. Some kids at my school even go without breakfast and dinner, and are only able to eat because they have free lunch at school. There is simply not enough to go around. We middle-class Americans usually see starvation as a symptom of Asia or Africa, but it is happening here too, in our beautiful United States of America. We cannot simply ignore what is happening all around us any longer.

Roedy Green in his article “Over Population” estimates that even if, through a massive global effort, humans were able to cut back on their consumption of natural resources, the Earth would still only be able to sustain a population of 3 billion human beings. Green also predicts that by 2050 AD the human population will be between 9 and 12 billion. The Earth’s natural resources are being used at a far greater rate than they can be replenished. It is likely that when natural resources, such as oil and forests, begin to dwindle and disappear, war will break out, and, perhaps, people might begin to feel less animosity towards cannibalism.

This apocalypse is not inevitable. There are many ways that we can work against this dystopian future. First, all the people of the world must unite and explore the use of alternative fuels and energies such as solar, geothermal, and wind power. Also, the people of the world must begin to institute and enforce population control practices in order to alleviate some of stress that is placed upon the environment. One step toward population control would be providing sexual education that goes beyond the failing “Abstinence Only” program and providing readily available contraceptive methods to all. Instituting a child limit law such as China has done could also help limit population growth. In the long run, the human race must expand to the stars. To this end governments must rekindle their space programs and look for ways to make the moon, mars, and other planets suitable for human life.

I believe that without proper action being taken in the next few decades, overpopulation may doom the human