Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The greatest issue of our time

is not Middle-Eastern conflict, green energy, or Sarah Palin getting elected to office. It's overpopulation. Dr. David Katz wrote a decent article that hopefully will get some discussions started.

I have a feeling though that by the time we get around to frankly discussing the issue, the Duggans will have bred out the rest of us.

Seriously though, while it's easy to poke fun or ridicule a family that thinks it is their divine right to bring 19 or 20 kids into this world, I'm not very fond of the thought of having starving people with flies buzzing on their eyelids gasping their last breath because someone half the world away likes big families.

There are issues of resource allocation, of course, but then you can bring up the fact that America is the land of conspicuous consumption, where we each use as much resources as 45 Ethiopians. So the Duggans have a village indeed, burning up the same amount of this planet's finite resources as 990 (22x45) villagers.

The issue is very frustrating to me, because you can look at any specie that overpopulates, and you can clearly see that their demise is both quick and painful. Not the future I want for my kids. Both of them.


  1. While I can understand your frustration and feel the same with the issue that there are many countries in the world who don't have healthcare or even food and water, I don't know if overpopulation is to blame. I would question why there are countries who can have such excess (the US, UK, etc) and feel justified donating $100 in times of crisis when the real issue is why do we not feel compassion and a moral obligation to help these countries and people in need.

  2. Don't confuse the issues here...overpopulation is going to affect rich and poor and every nation on the earth. Resource distribution is more at what you're getting at.

    While I agree that morality and compassion are two values that are lacking in our consumption based society, the fact is that life is not fair. In a perfect world there would be just enough. Just enough food for just enough people. Just enough jobs for just enough companies. But disparity and haves vs. the have-nots is the world we live in.

    If you go back to the over-population issue, you can clearly at that the highest birth rates are in some of the most dangerous and resource deprived places in the world. So I don't know if those rates are due to people "breeding" because the mortality rate is high or what. It doesn't seem to be a clear cut issue.

    And me donating $100 to help build wells in Africa is better than doing nothing at all, right?