World Population Day – July 11, 2019

| July 10, 2019 | Leave a Comment

Reflecting on Population Issues

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Foundational

Publication Info: National Today

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Sure, you might know that there are more than 7 billion people on earth right now, but how often do you stop to think about what that really means? World Population Day is a holiday that’s dedicated to focusing on the importance of population issues. The day was established by the United Nations as an outgrowth of the massive interest people had in Five Billion Day in 1987. Five Billion Day was meant to acknowledge the date that the world’s population reached five billion people, which supposedly happened on July 11th that year (hence the annual date). And look how much the population has increased since then! Population issues cover a lot of territory, from family planning to gender equality to environmental impacts to human rights concerns.

Read on for more information to help you celebrate this important holiday.

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Greeley Miklashek

    So the link stinks, wants me to sign-up for? NPG had a great article today and is an organization I recently discovered and wrote a Forum Paper for. They are devoted to addressing the necessity of actively lowering the human population on earth, rather tan all the fee-good “resilience” fluff that increasingly occupies this site. Need personal motivation to face the hu man overpopulation issue head-on? Population density stress is killing us now, which just happens to be the title of my soon to be published Forum Paper on the NPG site. Just how more personal and motivating is your own shortened lifespan due to overpopulation? Stress R Us

    • MAHB_SC

      Thank you for sharing more about NPG, Greeley.

      • Greeley Miklashek

        Great to find someone genuinely devoted to informing the reader about the environmental and health consequences of human overpopulation, which I had thought was Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s chief concern.

        • MAHB_SC

          Hi Greeley, Paul and Anne are deeply concerned about population and the MAHB’s focus is on the human predicament, thinking about how many existential threats, including overpopulation, are affecting our path forward.

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    A World Population Day comment…..

    Homo sapiens is a creature of the earth. Understand that food is the tap root of life for the human species. There may be other factors that help sustain human life, but food is the root cause for the growth of absolute human population numbers, just as is the case with other species of earth.

    Our problem is a biological one. A positive feedback loop has been established in the food-population relationship because natural limiting factors to the unbridled growth of absolute human population numbers have been eliminated by human ingenuity. Human beings are unique creatures of earth. We are exceptional in many wondrous ways, but not in terms of population dynamics. Hence the recent ‘bloom’ of absolute global human population numbers that are primarily caused by spectacular increases in the food supply which is derived from greatly enhanced production and distribution capabilities.

    The conundrum: increasing food production annually to meet the needs of growing population is fueling a human population explosion. With every passing year more people are being fed and more people are going hungry.

    Perhaps we can agree to a desperate need for an adequate-enough explanation for ‘why’ we have ended up where are, in this global predicament. A growing body of unfalsified research has been ubiquitously denied and consequently not widely shared much less consensually validated by population experts of science as well as those professionals with appropriate expertise in the fields of demography and economics. Uncontested science makes it possible for us to answer the question posed now, here.

    A new biological understanding is emerging from ongoing scientific research. It is simply this: as is the case with other species, human population numbers appear or not as a function of food availability; food is the independent, not the dependent, variable in the relationship between food and population numbers; and human population dynamics is essentially similar to, not different from, the population dynamics of other species.

    Sound scientific research provides straightforward empirical data of a non-recursive biological problem that is independent of economic, political, ethical, social, legal, religious, and cultural considerations. This means human population dynamics is like the population dynamics of other species. It also means that global human population growth is a viciously cycling positive feedback loop, a relationship between food and population in which food availability drives population growth, and population growth provides an attractive memetic framework for the false perception, the mistaken impression, the fatally flawed misconception that food production needs to be increased to meet the needs of a growing population.

    With every passing year, as food production is increased leading to a population increase, millions go hungry. Why are those hungry millions not getting fed year after year after year… and future generations of poor people may not ever be fed? Every year the human population grows. All segments of it grow. More people with blue eyes and more with brown ones. More tall people and more short ones. All segments of the population grows. Every year there are also more people growing up well fed and more people growing up hungry. The hungry segment of the global population goes up just like all the other segments of the population. We are unexpectedly increasing the number of hungry people in the course of feeding more people. We are not bringing hunger to an end by increasing food production.

    The skyrocketing increase of the human population in our time on a planet with the size, composition and ecology of Earth has caused a growing number of apparently unforeseen and exceedingly deleterious ecological occurrences. Among these potentially catastrophic, human-driven consequences is climate destabilization. What is fortunately becoming clearer to naked eyes, as we observe what is happening, is the manifold ways overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of the human species are occurring synergistically and simultaneously threatening life as we know it, environmental health, and future human well being. The spectacular increase of these distinctly human, overgrowth activities is causing the mass extirpation of earth’s biodiversity, the relentless dissipation of its limited natural resources, the unbridled degradation of its environs and the reckless threat to a good enough future for children everywhere.

    For a moment let us carefully consider the remote possibility that the human community writ large pulls itself together on a war footing to fight climate change and wins that battle by reducing carbon emissions of all kinds to net zero in 2020, while the root cause of anthropogenic climate change continues to be denied. We may win a major Pyrrhic victory. That is certainly a good thing. And yet, if we do not accurately enough locate the foremost cause of the biological problem that is ailing humankind, the problem that is precipitating climate change, we could lose the prospects of a good enough future for life as we know it.

    We have run out of time for population experts to remain reticent. They have to assume their responsibilities by examining data and reporting findings regarding the question, “Why are human population numbers exploding?” The time has come to disclose all of what we know — the whole truth — with regard to human creatureliness and human population growth, according to the best available science and ‘lights’ we possess.

    • Arnold Byron

      Food is being grown and transported to many places in the world. It is going to those of us who are situated so that we can use it so long as it is available and we can afford it. We fool ourselves into thinking that humanity can grow enough food forever. We refuse to realize that we have been using Earth’s supply of fossil fuel for the energy needed to farm, fertilize and transport the food to those who can afford to buy it.I

      It is those who are the poor in rich countries; and those who must subsist in places where resources are diminishing; who are going hungry. The problem is that this bubble will burst. There will come a time when humanity will have used up the supply of fossil fuel and humanity will no longer be able to grow and transport food. Not being able to supply enough food for the population will be significant to the collapse of humanity at that time.

      I would like to suggest that if humanity does it right it will choose to reduce the population in a way that will be nonviolent, non-eugenic, fair, safe and humane. I believe this can be done. Please look at articles that I have posted on this MAHB blogsite. https://mahb.stanford.edu/?s=A+Plan+for+the+Nations

      • Steven Earl Salmony

        Take a moment to reflect upon the way in which a thoughtful, effective and systematic redistribution of food resources, if implemented correctly, would feed the human population and simultaneously stabilize absolute human population numbers. That is to say, limiting “increases only” in the total production of food for human consumption, when coupled with a sensible food redistribution program, will lead to population stabilization and starvation reduction. After all, the incredibly successful efforts of humankind to increase annually the production and distribution capabilities gives rise to the ever-growing food supply for human consumption. Please consider how the synergy of distinctly human overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities has made possible an increasing food supply worldwide. The increasingly bountiful harvests that have been grown to meet the needs of a growing population is the same food that has caused human numbers to skyrocket since the beginning of the 19th Century.