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Starting to Talk About Population Options
#1 Posted : Friday, September 26, 2008 2:28:34 AM
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I'm against urban sprawl. I'm not sure about population, but with whatever population we do have, we need to use land better than we have in the past. Often times, cities sprawl outward when they need new development, rather than reusing land that is already developed but maybe currently underutilized or in disrepair. And tax structures often discourage any development in the heart of the city, and so this encourages urban sprawl. The politicians have got to pull their heads out.

Earth Home Project:


#2 Posted : Monday, September 29, 2008 1:03:02 AM
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 You pose a question that can have deep meaning on different levels, population control means more rules or something that de-populates such as war or sickness. After WW2 est. of the dead were somewhere around 65 million world wide, this has no effect as I can see on the number of  people alive today. From where I set we are faced with the majority of the people in the world with little or no education, cultures and religions that subject their people to harsh rules and living conditions. Genocide is a happening where the strong prey on the weak and helpless. Hockyfan talked about poor use of our land, not to mention our water and air. We will need clean and cheap engry, more farms, take better care of our oceans, and above all else is education for everyone world wide, when people can read and write they are harder to enslave. I believe there is enough for all if we are wise about it.


#3 Posted : Tuesday, September 30, 2008 6:01:41 PM
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This has been a topic of heated discussion in my family as of late.  If people were to start cutting back on their STUFF then people wouldn't even be thinking about population as a problem.  I mean what family of 4 needs a 2500 sq.'(Or bigger) house?  My family of 6 gets along very well in our 1500sq ' home.  We even have room to spare.  People thought we were crazy when we bought our house, but here we are two years later producing well over 50% of our own food on our 1/7 of an acre lot, happily sharing our small home with whom ever we know that needs a place to stay.  People don't actually need a lot of space or recources, they just want it.
#4 Posted : Tuesday, September 30, 2008 7:23:20 PM
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There's are a lot of problems and no easy solution.  Overpopulation is more than an environmental issue, it is economical, political and social.  It's negative results (or potentially positive ones) affect everything.

In regards to the above post, if each individual/family were to "live off the land" it would never work.  There are too many people living in cities, our resources would not be enough.  Our efficient (although not healthy) agricultural and natural resource industries are the only thing that has enabled this population to get so big. 

My personal feelings are that countries need to be educated on the overpopulation problem and need access to contraceptives / family planning.  I think this is important before the government plays a more direct role in the issue, such as China's one-child policy.

What worries me is that the poorest countries (and the least educated) , with no significant ability to support their population are the ones growing at the fastest rate.  And the educated population are having less and less children.  We are becoming a more ignorant society everyday.
#5 Posted : Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:03:39 PM
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If you were addressing my post, I was not saying that all people should try to live off the land.  I was simply stating that if the population as a whole would give up this idea that bigger is better, and if they were to take personal responsibility for their owns needs(Such as making dinner instead of running down to the nearest fast food place) the population wouldn't be the problem it is.  My husband and I are raising four amazing children.  They are all budding environmentalists, The oldest of which has already put himself on the line (In school) for his beliefs.  If we were to go along with the one child per family, there would be three less briliant minds to take on the issues of the world.  It is a scary problem...I won't even try to deny that.  My husband and I are thinking about adopting a child, and it is frightening to see how many children without families there are.  People are having children they can't afford to keep (Or just don't want to keep), and it is causing more than population problems....There is no easy answer.  But I don't think government should get involved.  If they do, they will go onto other methods of population control....I don't think we need to bring another Hitler onto the world stage.  I love my mentally challenged Aunt, but if you remember your history many people like her were murdered to keep the population of nonperfect people down.  I'm just saying that once you give the government control like that horrible things are just around the corner.
#6 Posted : Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:49:22 AM
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Recently the UK has mentioned population control in the political sphere.The population is around 62 million, and the target is to limit population to 70 million.This news is not getting full media attention. This flash was the first time the subject was mentioned seriously in the political sphere.

Apparently this is a truism: If all the world's  people had the standard of living enjoyed by the average North American, the planet would have to be seven times larger just to supply the necessary resources.

Even with today's population about two-thirds of the world population go to bed hungry at night, and suffer other hardships, due to lack of resources.

Advances in "greening" are and will be of little value since increase in population will overwhelm all such efforts, and the planet will get more polluted.

Why not take efforts to limit world population to some figure and build a world society to that so chosen. The planet is finite, so there must be some limit which is sustainable.
#7 Posted : Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:56:41 PM
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Population isn't "an" invironmental issue it's "THE" environmental issue.  Everybody wants more and better.  Until this past century overpopulation of a region could be dealt with by one of the natual limitations built into the environment (famine for example) or migration.  To some extent both of these have been overcome.  The 1st through "cheap energy" transportation and the second because there isn't anywhere left un/under populated.  Current practices are unsustainable and will lead to a population crash as well as an overall reduction of living standards due to environmental degradation.  Solutions? There are no "nice" ones.  The key will be to assess what any given region can sustain and at what quality of life.  Do we return to a subsistance level where everyone lives little better than mere survival, choose a moderate lifestyle with a medium population or a high quality of life with a low population.  Then how do you choose to limit population?  Everybody believes they are "entitled".  Business, which relies on expanding markets, would need to be overhauled to cope with decreasing markets.  I would favour limiting children to 1 per couple and a moderate lifestyle for all.  There will be religious dissent of course, and those who are powerful, politically or financially, that don't believe limits should apply to them but unless we do something there will come a time when our inginuity will be unable to keep up with the demands of more mouths to feed, more backs to clothe.  Our civilisation, like many before that ignored these limitations, will crash.  We have the advantage of understanding these limitations exist but I predict we will lack the will to take appropriate action as a species.
It can be done!
#8 Posted : Monday, November 17, 2008 10:08:34 PM
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 i think you folks are looking at this a little myopically , first 3 out of  4 births in this good world are in the third world. the industrialized nations populations have already leveled off . the idea we need to stop having kids here is not productive. children here have a good standard of education, lifestyle ,and live productive lives. this is where we should have kids and lots of them. this is where innovation will come from to solve the problems of the world . you look around this country and you see empty building and houses everywhere and you think America has a population problem? im sorry i don't see that we are much of the population equation.. if you think you shouldn't have kids because there are already to many people ,you are the exact ones who should have kids , you are passionate and bright and care about the world. the world needs   more like you not less

#9 Posted : Sunday, November 23, 2008 6:43:42 PM
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I registered and came in to these forums in order to respond to a comment about population in the December 2008/ January 2009 issue. As I was having trouble navigating to find that commentary, I found this first. If you can tell me how to go there and post a comment, I would really appreciate it. What are the rules on posting a comment from the magazine?... Can I quote it verbatim in this forum? Until I know whether I can include that to clarify my response, I will just react to what has been written here.

@enchantsb: my home is about 1500 sq ft without our 2 sunporches. We have 3 bedrooms upstairs... 1 for my wife and I, and 1 each for 2 children. A child should have his/her own room, not have to share (especially into teens). We could possibly move downstairs into our parlor, then having room for 3 children...

 I can tell you though that it makes me angry when you say that if you had just had one child, that you would have 3 less minds to solve the world's problems. You should not be putting the burden of those solutions on them and other future generations. Your children may or may not want to solve the world's problems as they pertain to the environment. I know you love your children and fully expect them to achieve a lot in the direction of your ideals, but you have to assume they may want to drive a "regular car", heat their home with fossil fuels, and get groceries at the store like most people in the western world. This may just be the lifestyle they drift into when they go off to college.

You have mentioned adoption and I applaud you for this. I don't feel that my genes(or those of my wife) are better than anyone else's. If I really believe that our character is what is important, and I want to raise more than 2 children, and raise them with an attitude that helps them and the rest of humanity, adoption is definitely the way to go.

Your children are already born and I am sure that you are raising them in the best possoble way, with lots of love. But please do not tell someone that has not had children, or had 2 or less, that it is ok to have more because they may be possible geniuses at solving world crises. It is just not fair.

#10 Posted : Sunday, November 23, 2008 7:21:33 PM
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People in the third world have a lot of children because they lack education, women's rights, access to contraception, and they have a high rate of infant and child mortality. They also see children as a kind of retirement and health insurance, providing for them in their old age. If their situations improved, they would not feel the need to have so many children, and those already as well as future generations would have a better living standard as a result. As it is, you cannot contrast their children's living standards with ours, admitting that theirs is worse, and then say this is a "good world".

It seems like you are doing the whole "lead by example" thing in reverse. "People in the third world countries are having too many children... more than they can support, often... so we, with all of our resources, are justified in increasing our own populations." We have a lot more time and resources to worry about what is right and wrong, and making permanent improvements. We can't make this into an "us vs them", where we are more justified in having children. We are less justified because we have the education and the leisure to make better choices.

You also justify us having more children because this is where the innovations will arise. Like I said in my last post, this is putting an unfair burden on future generations. You are implying that those solutions are not yet here, and you have to admit that when they get here they will go farther on a smaller population. If you believe that our culture and resources foster the minds that create solutions, then solve two issues at once and adopt children from the neediest nations. Encourage them to correspond with their biological parents and have a strong national and ancestral identity, while at the same time teaching them the values you think are important and giving them all of the opportunities children have in this country.

As for the comment about empty homes, I do not see many around here. We had a building boom and bust in this country because there was a demand for new housing. Unless our population was increasing, these people wanted to move into a better home, or they wanted to buy a second home. If the population is increasing, you are wrong about population increase. If it is the second explanation, we should improve our existing homes or do a tear down and build another in its place. If it is the third, that is just extravagant exuberance... Just because there is an empty space doesn't mean that it needs to be developed and "improved".

(can anyone tell me how to get rid of the quote box?... at first I quoted mrgreenjeans but I could not unquote my own text. Even after totally removing it, I can't get rid of it... please help! I will not mind if an admin modifies this for me, and removes this part in parentheses)


Rich Taber
#11 Posted : Monday, December 01, 2008 9:17:06 PM
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I live in rural Central New York State.  We are having quite an influx of Amish and Mennonite people, which we heartily welcome.  They have huge families, however, and have increased their population from about 100,000 in 1992, to about 217,000 in 2008 in North America. They have doubled their numbers in just 16 years. There are limits as to how long a population can keep on expanding. Just how long this can go on before they run out of affordable farmland to buy is anyone's guess.  The biological rules of population dynamics applies to humans just as much as it does to any other population of living things.    
#12 Posted : Tuesday, December 02, 2008 8:15:04 PM
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I'd be a huge fan of adoption if you did not have to prove yourself wealthy, mainstream, and practically "perfect" to do it here in the US.

While I agree that you should not attempt to raise what you cannot provide for, I don't think that "providing" should mean proving you can supply it with a room of its own, a car, and a college education.  You can foster a child in squalor for years; adopting one seems to require affluence.  Less the clothes, I was given all those things. 

--Given the fossil fuel mess, NO ONE needs to be handed a car.  A bus pass or bicycle, definitely.  A carpool to school/work/doctor/the store, maybe, if they're too far out in the boonies for public transportation to reach.  But not a car.  Don't even get me started on the whole "You're 16!!  Here's your car!!" crock. 

--The idea that every biped needs a room to themselves is certainly at least significantly responsible for the popularity of the McMansion.  

--I know my family meant well when they taught me to assume that I would go to college; I know the State of WV meant well in handing me a full scholarship I never even applied for.  I still believe I would have fared better-- or at least wasted less and learned more-- if college had been treated a privilege to be earned, if I wanted it enough by hard work rather than a given course verging on a birthright (I was 'bright,' that is, I had an excellent rote memory and a strong desire to obey authority).

How many of y'all have adopted kids??  Of you, how many are living in, basically, well-insulated conventional homes??  Have you ever tried to prove to a social worker that, for example, a straw-bale house is a safe place to raise a child and eggs right from the chicken aren't poison??  If you have managed to convince the officious little paper-pushing child wardens that "difference" does not equal "deficit", please tell me how you did it. 

Do you know how many extra hoops I, as an married monogamous heterosexual verifiable Pagan, would have to jump through to adopt a kid??  Peripheral experience strongly suggests that the first one would be proving I didn't want it for human sacrifice-- which might be reasonable if it didn't require renouncing my "sin" and getting baptized in a nice, mainstream, preferably right-leaning church.

This isn't the forum to start debating the "married monogamous heterosexual" part. 

That wouldn't even be a patch on what I'd have to submit to as someone who has received documented treatment for a mental illness.  Yup-- because I sought therapy for depression when I was 20 years old, I'm considered much less fit as an adoptive parent than someone who's still keeping it all corked up in a nice polite little bottle.

Diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder???  Nope.  Forget it.  No hoop high enough.  Too big a risk.     

I can buy an unwanted child in a private transaction.  I can buy one on the black market.  But I cannot adopt one through legal channels, love, learning, compassion, and economic stability (as distinct from the American ideal of affluence) notwithstanding.

Adoption's a swell idea.  Even with three of my own, I'd love to adopt another in a few years' time.  I'm one of those types that would be thrilled to raise a dozen.  We just need to clean up some stigmas and steroetypes and figure out some better judgment criteria, and then I'll drive that bandwagon. 

Government-imposed two-child limit??  I can't say it's a horrible idea...

...but I can say that, if it goes like I've been told China's one-child policy has, there's a fair probability that a child like me would have be aborted, abandoned, or exposed at birth.

And that just for having been female.  You know what kind of crap developmentally differential kids and their parents-- disproportionately "suddenly single" mothers-- have to go through over there??  If, that is, they're too old to kill quietly by the time the abnormality becomes evident??  A Google search about nine months ago augurs that the most popular method of coping with that one is sociologically referred to as "altruistic murder-suicide."

Our low-impact ancestors, according to many theories, controlled population not by celibacy or contraception but by exposing inconvenient, unwanted, abnormal, and oftentimes female infants at birth.  I do understand the simple survival imperative of one of the four-- but wow!!! 

Have we come close enough, even in the "developed world," to a society where every individual willing to deposit effort equal to their withdrawl of resources is valued to not quickly revert to the 21st century version of the same???  I doubt it.  I'm not even sure the ability to do so lies within "human nature".   

I agree that we've got to control our numbers.  There is no more new frontier (hasn't been for millenia, if we are to be honest; every 'new' frontier in the last few thousand years has been some other group's ancestral home).  We've already proven that intensive farming is a bad idea.  We are stretching the finite resources of a finite planet (not to mention a finite-- however artificially so-- supply of wealth).  But-- practical (and final) point-- while it may be "brutally honest," castigating anyone who chooses to have children, or chooses to have more than one or two, is just another really fast way to deeply disenfranchise a very significant slice of the existing population. 

Which, of course, is totally irrelevant if you're the go-it-alone survivalist type.  Though I think we're going to need more go-it-together sustainability types if we're going to make this work in the absense of apocalyptic cataclysm (Hey, we have to face the fact that, while it probably will, apocalypse might not happen for a while).


#13 Posted : Friday, December 19, 2008 5:43:46 PM
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While we may debate here about how to deal with "overpopulation of the earth", there are those who are already, and have for quite some time now, been taking action on this. We can talk here about it, but what is being done has been happening already without our counsel or approval for 100 years or more now. You may even be surprised to learn that you yourself, or some of  those in your family, may be leaving here early as a part of the solution to this "problem".

Find out more about that by watching this movie:


(the "Eugenics" part of the movie is in the final 1/3, so be patient, or scroll ahead)


Even the fact that we are  discussing this subject here is probably a part of the plan to gradually get us to be more accepting of the measures that are already being carried out.

I think that this is the work of the devil, but thats just my opinion.

#14 Posted : Monday, January 12, 2009 12:01:56 AM
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#15 Posted : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 12:22:00 AM
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I used to think the world was over populated before I started playing a PC game called "masters of orion"

The only way to win the game was to overpopulate the planets and use technology to clean them up afterwords.

I hate to say this, however if we as a species are going to win the big game we will have to be a little hard on the planet and then clean it up latter.

This means that the best thing we can do is try and store as many species for the future. We need both genetic and epigenetic samples along with info on the animal's dietary requirements.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics" temp_href="FYI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics" href="FYI:%20http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics">FYI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics

We also need to identifying animals that can carry that species. (For some reason the image of a human giving birth to puppies sticks in my mind) Species A can give birth to Species B and then Species B can give birth to Speices C... You get the idea. With the information saved we can rebuild the planet and repopulate it with all the species.

Ideally we would scan every plant, animal and insect and store them all. Then in a way we can say that species is not extinct, but just stored away for the future.

PS: As far as world enslavement goes... I already have a nice slave collar with my name on it to wear and I am sure that any Master that owns me will put my engineering and technology creation talents to good use.
The Big Lebowski
#16 Posted : Sunday, January 18, 2009 2:03:47 PM
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Rich Taber wrote:
I live in rural Central New York State.  We are having quite an influx of Amish and Mennonite people, which we heartily welcome.  They have huge families, however, and have increased their population from about 100,000 in 1992, to about 217,000 in 2008 in North America. They have doubled their numbers in just 16 years. There are limits as to how long a population can keep on expanding. Just how long this can go on before they run out of affordable farmland to buy is anyone's guess.  The biological rules of population dynamics applies to humans just as much as it does to any other population of living things.    

Part of the reason you see the increase in the Mennonite population is they are migrating from Europe not just having babies.

With the mennonite folks here in the Waterloo region they have already decided to leave because land has gotten too expensive. They started their first colony out in Manitoba about year ago maybe two.
#17 Posted : Monday, January 26, 2009 7:21:50 PM
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mrgreenjeans wrote:

" i think you folks are looking at this a little myopically , first 3 out of  4 births in this good world are in the third world. "


"the industrialized nations populations have already leveled off . "

Also true.

"the idea we need to stop having kids here is not productive. children here have a good standard of education, lifestyle ,and live productive lives. "

True, only relative to other countries. Saddling US children with $35,000 of US debt for each child is not my definition of good. The children of the US will also be paying far more in Social Security taxes than me or my parents did, because they will have to support the Ponzi scheme called Social Security.

"this is where we should have kids and lots of them. this is where innovation will come from to solve the problems of the world . you look around this country and you see empty building and houses everywhere and you think America has a population problem? "

The houses are empty because these families now live on the streets. The families are on the streets through a combination of factors. One is they made foolish decisions on their mortgage (bought too much house or used an ARM), or they lost their job.

I think when talking about the US, the population problem is more of population vs jobs, not population vs land or population vs housing.

Raymond James
#18 Posted : Friday, January 30, 2009 4:51:04 AM
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When I read the Feb/Mar 09 issue I was dishearted to see the letters from the readers who were cancelling there subscriptions.  I think this is an issue that needs to be discussed, cussed and solved.  I do not have the answers but I know we all must work on this issue.

Part of the solution to having the earths population not exceed the carrying capacity of the earth is to use less energy, use less water, recycle.  All of the topics that the magazine has talked about for years.   If I grow part of my own food (even if it is only one tomato plant) I have saved energy by not importing food from some far off state or country.  I have food that taste good and is healther for me (no pesticides or contamination during processing shipping).  Giving myself something fun to do. Gotten some exercise especially if it is a large garden maintained with hand tools.  And, I contend,  helped the carring capacity of the planet.

Do I want to limit the size of families? Kill off the old and infirm? Kill off the uneducated or people that do not look or act like me? NO.

I do want to live a substainable life, using the least amount of resources that I can while enjoying my friends and family.  It is not a hardship to have friends over for a few home brews using your homegrown grains and hops and yes, I do think it taste just as good as the beer I had while stationed in Germany.

I would like to raise the educational levels of the third world, empower women within there cultures.  To many of the worlds women have children as children.  I would like to work towards a world that has educated, employed populations in stable democracies. As a previous posted pointed out the population of Western Europe aand North America is level or falling (if not for immigration).  If the third world were educated and employed I think thier populations would also level out. 

And so I am dishearted to hear that the long time readers decided not to renew.  Reading a magazine does not mean you agree with everthing the editors print. If you have taken the time to read this magazine and contributed your thoughts you are the type of people that need to be working on finding those answers that I do not have.  I however suspect that together we have the answers we need.   




#19 Posted : Saturday, January 31, 2009 5:07:10 PM
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Ray,  I think that your cancelling magazine subscribers are horrified when they look closer at this issue.

To say that, "yes, the population needs to be reduced" brings to mind very ugly memories of those who have said that sort of thing in the past and who have acted on their beliefs.

Who is it that will be doing said population reductions??

Do some men actually deserve to have that sort of power over  the rest of us??

This is a horrifying concept, Ray.

Who wants to be in the position of agreeing with such monsters who presume to make such decisions over us??

Who wants to even suggest that this sort of thing is necessary and ok??

Your subscribers who left are probably not wanting any part of the whitewashing and promulgating of such ideas. These steps needed to take such actions are best left to God. Any man who proposes such should be exposed and shunned.


As far as the recycling stuff, having a lighter footprint on the Earth, conserving energy, that sort of thing? Yes, we all want to promote that...no problem there.

#20 Posted : Monday, February 02, 2009 3:41:27 AM
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Oh boy I knew this was a thorny issue,bringing up old issues such as Hitler,Stalin,Mao and many others who all thought population control was a measure to conserve resources and 'preserve their race'and thats why I didn't want to participate.No one on this planet has that right to do that to anyone else except for Mother Earth herself and we have no control over that and nor should we ever. That being said,I do have to reiterate though what Raymond said before pman does have some validity in the fact that the Earth  can handle only so much .The movie 'Wallee' deals with what could happen if population does get out of control and is mismanaged.Misery ensues.A good example is  the woods.Look what happens when too many trees try to occupy the same space.Natural selection takes over and weeds some of them out.Well,the same will be happening to our species soon and in saying that many I think are having a hard time dealing with the loss of their own existence.That may be why the magazine had the subscriptions dropped,its a really thorny issue with religous types.I am  pagan and learned  death is an integral part of my present existence.Its the end of life and too many think they'll live forever.

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