It is both encouraging and alarming that there are so many letters and articles these days about overpopulation; encouraging because of the growing awareness of the problem, and alarming to realize that it may already be too late, that human beings are breeding themselves to extinction and taking the rest of the world’s creatures with us.
War, hunger, illiteracy, disease, violence, mental illness, and hatred between groups and nations are not discrete problems. Overpopulation, is the BIG problem. It is worldwide, and it is a web in which we are all enmeshed.
Let’s start with some irrefutable facts:
- The earth is of unchanging size.
- The earth’s resources are finite and being rapidly depleted, especially by the developed and developing nations, the United States leading the pack.
- Human beings, like all creatures, do not live forever. We die at different ages from different causessome old, some young, some ill, some healthybut we will all die.
Some human live in big corrals with plenty of food for the body, the mind, and the soul. But millions are living in tiny corrals with little or nothing to sustain them. And, as the numbers increase, they draw ever closer to each other. Folks, it just ain’t gonna work.
There is only one possible solution: Humans will have to start dying faster than they are being born.
Following are my suggestions for partial solutions:
- The number of children per family should be limited to one for all those on public support and two for all others, irrespective of personal wealth or religious belief, and it should be strictly enforced. Birth control should range all the way from abstinence to abortion and sterilization. The method should be the prerogative of the woman, and it should be fully funded by the government for those who cannot afford it.
- The Hippocratic Oath (first, do no harm) should be rethought, both for the benefit of the people involved and for their caregivers. The evolution of scientific knowledge with regard to prolonging human life can frequently result in more harm than good.