Be calm. This is simply the correct definition of the word overpopulation.
OVERPOPULATION = TOO MANY PEOPLE ALREADY
CAN'T be clearer, but since I can find no evidence in the media that very many editors, politicians, or people the establishment considers smart understand it, I'll make
what can't be clearer even clearer. (1) Overpopulation
is not a state of becoming; it's a state of being. (2) An OVERPOPULATED
WORLD is not getting overpopulated; it's already overpopulated.
(3) So the solution is not slower growth, or even no growth; THE
SOLUTION IS (wrinkle your
brow, clinch your teeth, think hard) TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD UNTIL THERE ARE NO LONGER TOO MANY OF THEM. Got it?|
OK. Your only remaining defense now is to ask, "What does the word world mean?" (I gave you that, in case you didn't think of it); and, as if you were perplexed, "How many people are too many?"; and finally, a little angrily, "But what can be done about it?" I'll answer the first two questions immediately (just past the bottom line of this box after ONE ALL IMPORTANT NOTE, and I'll answer the last question at the bottom of the page.
ONE ALL-IMPORTANT NOTE: Understanding of all 4 definitions of overpopulation below must include a realization (you can't avoid it) that too many people need a HUMAN ENCAMPMENT that takes more space and weighs more heavily on the eco-system than its billions of tenants.
Definition of the word world:
The word world,
in the context of a discussion of overpopulation, means NOT the planet we live on (which isn't what needs "saving"), OR the globe (which is NOT warming), but the eco-system we live within (i.e. humanity's eco-world), which rides the planet a little above and below the surface like a passenger (as we do), which must be what may be warming along the planet's surface (on average) - among other things going wrong with it that Al Gore finds it inconvenient to mention, including, seemingy at least, some currently drastic climatic irregularity AND ALSO a LOT of other phenomena not yet put TOGETHER by embedded media (though obviously more important together than separately as each subject finally becomes p.c.), which obviously (not just seemingly but certainly) ADD UP TO
A COMPREHENSIVE COLLAPSE OF OUR ECOWORLD,
i.e. the world we actually live in, rather than on. Understanding of this definition and the next four definitions in carefully correct English is critically important.
FOUR DEFINITIONS of the word overpopulation, all emphasizing and clarifying the phrase, too many people - Overpopulation is:
(1) TOO MANY PEOPLE to balance and interact harmoniously with the other species
and elements in an eco-system which, to remain healthy and viable, requires
all the elements in its make-up to balance and interact with all the
other elements harmoniously;
(2) TOO MANY PEOPLE to provide each and
every one of them the best life practically possible in a less populated
world, just in case we ever have a one-world Civilized State that actually tries to do that.
(3) TOO MANY PEOPLE for the world to be as aesthetically
comfortable as it once was and still could be - or as beautiful as it once was and still could be - or to leave room outside their way-overgrown, over-crowded, noisy, tasteless, poisonous encampment for the luxuriously spacious natural world of clean air and soil and water and mountains and vast empty plains and forests and streams and seas teeming with abundant wild life that I WANT IN MY WORLD.
Right now, ALL OF THOSE DEFINITIONS AND THE LINES THEY DRAW ARE ALREADY ACADEMIC, since,
to anybody but an insensitive entrepreneur with a vested interest
in growth, a politician trying to be all things to all and especially
all rich constituents, a pseudo progressive trying to be politically correct, a dolt suckered by the insiders' media, or a religious person in rigid denial of a real world with actual spacial size and limitations, ALL THREE OF THOSE LINES HAVE OBVIOUSLY ALREADY BEEN CROSSED. The first two lines were crossed hundreds or even thousands
of years ago, for sure before Columbus was pushed west by population
pressure but probably way before that. The third line was crossed over 100 years ago and too obviously not to notice it in the last 50 years - so that, right now, overpopulation clearly enough
(4) FAST APPROACHING 7.8 (7.795) BILLION PEOPLE ALREADY
AND STILL GOING UP FAST
in a world just right
for a fraction of that number,
I'd say somewhere between about 1/60 and 1/100.
In fact, except for the opinion dictators (including media chiefs, search engine editors who bury this site, politicians, religious misleaders, and exceptionally greedy capitalists), most people do know now that there are too many people (you don't have to count a crowd to know it's a crowd or even that it's too big a crowd); and only a few nuts think there's still room for trillions.
But there is one other politically correct definition of overpopulation with more status than it deserves that you need to see through and reject, which, to clarify it's unimportance, I'll call #0.
(0) MORE THAN THE WORLD'S OPTIMUM POPULATION OR CARRYING CAPACITY; these absurd phrases, optimum population (never actually explained or explainable) and carrying capacity (the idealization of a not-quite-critical mass), were run up their own flag pole by newly near-hysterically PRO-democracy liberals
in the early 90's and even briefly saluted by Paul Ehrlich (in search of friends, maybe). What they couldn't help really meaning by those two strenuously scientific sounding (WOW) phrases was: as many people as there happen to be when everyone finally realizes the world is overpopulated and is democratically willing to finally do something about it. But, more pitifully, squeezed between the 1992 World Population Conference in Rio AND their newly embraced 1990 role as uncompromising pro-democracy people lovers, the liberals (ever since then self-anointed progressives, though they were and still are actually only pseudo progressives) were making a politically correct concession to minorities they feared offending, whom they hypocritically
presumed to be culturally incapable of growing past their tradition
of proliferating quail-like families. But
the two phrases were (and remain) fundamentally flaky because,
in fact, while there clearly can be and are too many people, there's NO sensible reason to strive for as many people as we can supposedly accommodate, and there
is no such thing as too few people.
(O +1)A REALISTIC OPTIMUM POPULATION, with no possible contemporary significance until a population level below definitions #1 and #2 above is reached, would be
a number safely BELOW a sensible maximum -
a ceiling that would provide a comfortable buffer zone, obviously, between a number easily accomodated within a civilized (ecologically sound) enclave and whatever number of people would be TOO MANY for a civilized (ecologically sound) system to bear without starting to crack.
NEWS FLASH: Our eco-system is NOW no longer healthy
and viable (see definition #1). That's why it's NOW visibly cracking, i.e. falling
apart. Too many people are consuming all the fish in the sea too fast for the vast ocean eco-system to keep up, react, replenish, and restore its balance. Too many people are pumping so much toxic and eco-unfriendly waste into the air, the land, and the sea, that a world encompassing eco-system, once amazingly resilient and able to bio-degrade everything it was hit with, can no longer rebound and recover. Too many people are drinking, washing and cooling and irrigating with, and bottling so much water that the unstopping rain can no longer replenish the world's water tables or even reach them through the ever-expanding concrete and asphalt and roofs of too much human habitat. And (see definition #2) benign governments trying to put too many shanty dwellers into good housing cannot keep up with the rising tide of too many more shanty dwellers, and the hopeless need for too much more living space for too many more constantly multiplying people is plunging the world into more and more dirty and destructive, both eco-unfriendly and housing-unfriendly wars. Frankly, I think we're already past...
...but IF I'm wrong, Can anything be done? Well, maybe not anymore. But maybe it still CAN be, if the whole world really tries - starting yesterday, I'd say, but maybe still NOW.
Of course, population growth was never inevitable. It didn't (and still doesn't) have to be just accommodated, as everyone with a vested interest in growth still wants you to believe. It's capitalism that requires growth. Not the human race. Humans certainly CAN effectively reduce their numbers (or could have). The qualifying word effectively means that they can or could have, by reducing their numbers, resolved the catastrophe they're NOW facing. Maybe it's too late, now. But, IF they still can, to do so they'll have to start doing it, and IF they ever start, after or while getting rid of capitalism (an indispensable condition for success) it will take a long time to reach a level below definitions #1 and #2 above - at least a century, which is why it's inexcusable not to have ALREADY started. The Chinese, though they haven't yet turned the corner, because daily headcounts and mathematical lag times haven't meshed yet, ARE reducing their numbers, by means some people consider oppressive, though the population they HAVEN'T added in the last 40 years would be more oppressive. The Cubans, with absolutely NO oppression, simply by making all existing birth control technology unblushingly and FREEly available AND by pro-actively teaching their children for about the last 30 years that "one child is enough and two's maximum," so that by 20 years ago, every Cubana thought it was her own idea, HAVE turned the corner and their population is diminishing. Of course, communism DOES NOT require growth. Am I the first one to tell you that? Well, that's what I do. Read some of the other definitions and essays on this site.
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