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Where Will They All Find Farms?

New -- 15 April 2007

An Amish patriarch once lived to a sufficiently advanced age that he was received news of a new heir to his lineage on an almost continual basis. While on the one hand, he and his kin were prone to proliferation of the species, he could not help at one point but to voice outload his concern, "Where will they all find farms?" That in an old world nutshell is the fundamental question of over-population of the human species.

There are many challenges to the continuing prosperity (or just survival) of mankind, many of which stagger the intellect by the sheer size of the problem. Privacy, on the one hand, may be very heavily on the minds of many, but privacy is individually fixable -- if the individual is willing to reduce the number of conveniences he or she enjoys in exchange for greater privacy of their personal affairs. But it is indeed something that can be addressed personally.

Other challenges such as global warming, desertification, overfishing and other environmental problems caused by industrialization, as well as religious wars, social injustices, overpopulation, and the inability of the Minnesota Vikings to win a Super Bowl come hell or high water, are far more difficult, complex and out of the realm of the ability of the individual to cause a measurable effect. The complexity of these problems is part and parcel of making solutions decidely complex and seemingly unattainable.

For example, some would argue until they're... red in the fact and hot under the collar (in part due to the rising temperatures) as to whether global warming is being caused man, natural cycles (such as the Sun), or a combination of both. This debate is ongoing and fueling a lot of controversy. However... it is undoubtedly and obviously true that over-population of the human species is caused by the direct actions of man (in league, of course, with women).

Instead, the debate in the arena of human population is whether or not the prefix of "over' is appropriate. There are still those who believe in the concept of being fruitful, multiplying, and subduing the earth... despite the fact that the earth is just about down and out for the count. What it really comes down to is, "Where will they all find farms?"

Wikipedia has an excellent essay on Overpopulation, which shows the state of the world in terms of human population density. In addition, Overpopulation.org provides numerous reports on overpopulation issues. What should become clear in these readings is the fact that most of all of the other major problems (save the feckless Minnesota Vikings) can be alleviated in large part by having a greatly decreased human population struggling to obtain the resources of life. The overfishing problem and some possible remedies, for example, has recently been addressed by National Geographic [1]. Unfortunately, the possible remedies require less fishing, and thus less fish food available to the current and future population -- not to mention the reduced available of fishing employment.

The missing ingredient in Wikipedia's otherwise excellent essay on the subject, is what exactly can be done about the problem. It is clear on the one hand that population trends in developed countries are approaching zero-population growth, while less developed regions of the world are anticipating an approximate 50% increase in their population by the year 2050. Asia and Africa tend to dominate the statistics of increasing population. At the same time, China has been using strict measures in order to reduce the birth rate.

The underside of the problem is far more astounding. There are numerous and varied methods currently being used against the poor and powerless throughout the world. In some countries, for example, dehydrated milk with hidden ingredients to reduce the birth rate have been used. Circumcision has been strongly advocated as a health measure in developing countries, but in reality to attempt to decrease the frequency of sexual encounters by reducing the motivation of the participants.

It has become clear from a myriad of sources that there is a concerted effort on the part of the ruling elite to attempt to address the overpopulation problem by the simple expedient of placing the burden of the solution upon the poor.



[1] "Saving the Sea's Bounty," National Geographic, April 2007.




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