Population - The Problem
Over population is The Problem that underlies most of the major problems of the world. Population is the direct cause of all resource demands. Water, food, shelter, energy, infrastructure, space, transportation, health care, etc. are each directly related to population. Each resource requires both extraction and waste disposal with the inherent ecosystem disruption and damage, and limited supply. However, these are not the most important problems.
This is not the Malthusian "population is limited by subsistence" argument nor a "save the planet" environmental argument. The problem is not limited resources or damage, because technology and strict control can sustain a nearly unlimited population without undue damage to the environment. The problem is the quality of life. Do we want to live squashed into urban containers with trips outside limited to a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage? Freedom of action and freedom from coercion are the first casualties of congestion. Also the institutions of limitation are a magnet for the domination and control personalities, so oppression is unavoidable.
The only realistic solution is to force people to live within their own resources. This means severely limited migration. People migrate from the limited and controlled to the freer. Unfortunately this leads to a new congestion which in turn leads to new limitation and control. The only enforceable boundary is currently the nation state. Each state must bear the consequences of their own population choices. There is no ethical problem here, no one has the right to migrate to another's living space, no matter their problems at home.
Over-Population Leads to False Per Capita Claims
Many try to claim that the US over-consumes energy and is the worst polluter, by using per capita measures. This is a false claim because the US has a very low population density. The ability of the environment to support people is best approximated by land area. The impact of resource extraction and pollution must be re-absorbed by land and ecosystem area. Hence the best measure is pollution per area of dominion. By that measure the US is much lower than most others.
Most countries are seriously overpopulated - they cannot legitimately claim preference by low per capita measures. They simply have too many people. The US is well below the world average population density (180th out of 241) while many countries are seriously over-populated (India 940 persons/sq mi, China 360, Indonesia 313, EU 290, USA 83). Further, the rate of pollution and energy use growth in the major over-populated countries is much greater than the US.
See the following link for more detail and related measures: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_density".
Page modified: 24 Oct 2016 13:38:17 -0700