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The Human Element of Overpopulation; by Nicole Givens Kurtz

There are currently 6,251,646,097 billion people on the Earth according to the US Census Bureau.1 Overpopulation is not a new topic in today's forums, but it is one that is often shelved or placed aside for further discussion.

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We have reached this monumental goal sooner than expected. The official Y6B (Year 6 Billion) estimated the world's population was expected to reach six billion on October 12, 1999. By September 29th, 1999 we had exceeded that estimate by 15,316,441.

Thanks to the leaps in modern medicine and science, human beings now enjoy prolonged life spans. But the Earth has paid a horrible price. We are currently living in the time in which thousands of species are going extinct, unlike we have seen since the dinosaur era.

But that's not all. With overpopulation comes overcrowded schools, global warming and traffic congestion, which in turn affect smog, the ozone layer and wildlife habitats.

What could be done to slow, if not stop, our rapid growth? One web site that is addressing the extremely important aspect of the overpopulation issue of how to deter people from reproducing is called The KZPG Overpopulation News Network. The web site asks its visitors to take the “One Child Pledge”. The pledge is a simple one-sentence declaration that the pledgee cares about how overpopulation is impacting our children's future and earth. The pledgees then click which options apply.

KZPG offers information about overpopulation complete with essays and studies by professors and doctors. They also have a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section.

Web sites such as KZPG are not aggressive in their literature and information. Although their motive is to educate as many people as possible about overpopulation, they cannot stop people from reproducing.

This is the most complex and frustrating issue about the situation. With the Amazon Rain Forest and the depletion of the ozone layer, humans could control the number of trees that are cut down and the type of fluorocarbons in a can of hairspray. But humans have never been able to control the actions of other humans.

In light of the inability to control one another, a solution to overpopulation may come from Mother Nature herself. A woman's ability to conceive and produce fourteen children has declined since a generation ago. The birth rate for women in general has steadily declined over the last twenty years.

For example, Portugal had a birth rate of 19.1 in 1975. In 1998, Portugal's birth rate had dropped to 10.63.3 As for the United States, there was only a slight decline in the birth rate from 16.2 in 1980 to 14.40 in 1998.

The reasons for a decline in birth rate may be due in part to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and an increase in contraceptive usage. However, those persons who are trying to reproduce are doing so despite Mother Nature's roadblocks.

According to Chem-tox.com, the percentage of women with infertility is about 13.1% between the ages of 25-34. The number of men who are sterile is around 8-12% (a high from 1% in 1937). Despite these figures, the infertility business has grown into a 1 billion dollar a year industry.

But Mother Nature will not be denied. The numerous hurricanes, earthquakes and floods in the last ten years have continued to decrease the number of humans on the planet. The life expectancy may have been prolonged but the amount of catastrophic natural disasters has also increased. Ironically, some of these disasters may be the result of overpopulation.

The Earth is quite resilient. The Earth has survived wars, ice ages and dinosaurs, and it will survive mankind. The answer to the overpopulation issue is can mankind cease his abusive behavior and selfishness?

Historically the answer to that question has been “no”. Mankind has abused and will continue to abuse the Earth until all of its resources are depleted and people are living underground or in caves.

Eventually, like the dinosaurs, mankind will disappear from the face of the Earth and that will render a solution to overpopulation.


  1. Learn More About Overpopulation:

  2. OverPopulation.com has information on overpopulation, articles and statistics.
  3. World Overpopulation Awareness has information on overpopulation, articles, interviews, and ways you can help reduce the world's population.
  4. OverPopulation.net--the latest information on overpopulation along with articles and information.
Endnotes:

  1. As of October 23, 2002. Per the U.S. Census
  2. Information taken from the KZPG Overpopulation News Network
  3. Statistics provided by InfoPlease.com
Bio: Nicole Givens Kurtz is the author of Browne Candidate, a futuristic science fiction novel, a Star Trekkie, and an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico, Gallup. Her short stories have appeared at such noted science fiction sites as Anotherealm, Dragon Soup, and Jackhammer Ezine. Visit her website for free short stories, articles, and novel excerpts.

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