Oh Brave New World — with so many People in it

“Billions” seems to be a common place number in modern man’s discourse – amount of government debt, amount of citizen debt, amount of wealth of the few super rich, number of those in poverty, number of the illiterate, number of stars in our galaxy, number of galaxies in the observable universe, age of the Earth, and the age of the known Universe.

The human population will hit 7 billion this year around the time our kids dress up to go trick or treating.  How do we comprehend the number 7 billion?  Well, if you were to start counting out loud right now, without sleeping, it would take you 200 years to reach 7 billion.  But don’t waste your time — after counting day and night for 40 years the population will have gone up by another 2 billion.        

There are sound arguments for or against the idea that overpopulation is a significant problem, but I maintain that our immense and growing population negatively impacts the quality of our existence and inhibits progress from one generation to the next.   This is my introductory and light-hearted muse on our large and growing population and its impact on “The Human Direction”. 

Top ten muses for your consideration:    

 1.  Do you like traffic jams?

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Do you like searching for a parking space?

 

 

 

 

 

3. Do you like going to the mall?

 

 

 

 

 

4. Do you like going through security at the airport?

 

 

 

 

 

5. Do you like sitting on the airplane?

 

 

 

 

 

6. Do you like being stuffed into the subway?

 

 

 

 

 

7. Do you like waiting for the elevator?

 

 

 

 

 

8. Do you like suburban sprawl?

 

 

 

 

 

9. Do you like going to the beach?

 

 

 

 

 

10. Do you like going to a national park?

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16 thoughts on “Oh Brave New World — with so many People in it

  1. I actually wrote about this some time ago, about world overpopulation and how it exacerbates every other problem we have, not just concerning food and resource allotment, but infrastructure, government, society at large. Functions that barely worked fifty years ago, like police, are grossly obsolete by the mere fact that there’s now twice as many people in the world today. Even in the US, we went from 150 million in 1950 to 310 million now, more than doubled, which means everything that worked back then, much of which we still rely on, is taxed by having twice as many people in the system.

    http://www.u4prez.com//Blogs/arjay/The-400-Pound-Malthusian-Catastrophe-in-the-Middle-of-the-Room.html

    Thank you for reminding me I’m not the only one with this concern.

    • Wow…I just read your article. You should publish that with an updated version on WordPress. Many of the points you brought up will be subjects for my future posts. Unfortunately, I don’t think most of the WordPress readers have the patience to read the wisdom of your article in one sitting. That isn’t an insult on the readers, but these days you have to keep it short to get small points accross. I look forward to reading through your entire blog this weekend.

  2. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/10/population-climate-change-gas-emissions/1

    the question is what can we do about it? birthing restrictions in america would be chaos. i don’t see any immediate solutions, and there haven’t been any decent ones proposed. the only thing would be to colonize antarctica. and that is just ridiculous. all we can really do for now is find ways to make our growth less detrimental.

  3. Sentientleaf,
    Thanks for reading the post and I will check out your link after I post this. The solution to this problem is immense and very much connected to many other elements within the American and world status quo. I don’t like forced polices dictated by say, a government. The solution needs to come from the individual’s free will or the soceity’s free will. I fear our country has too much self free will and is repulsed by the idea of a society free will. This inherent philosphy goes back to the founding of our country.

    My dark side thinks of solutions like Moon Raker (James Bond film), which is similar to the Noah’s Ark fable. The Moon Raker decision is essentially what nature would do on its own, which is not a nice solution. My light and better side thinks of solutions like that posed in my other post “Beacon Upon a Hill”. But, a solution isn’t unattainable. If every couple had one or two kids the population would stablize assuming our life span doesn’t increase to say 100 years.

    In short, there are many other aspects of our philosphy / religion / politics / economics / education / etc…that needs to change if we are too overcome all our problems…overpopulation is in my mind just an accelerator of other fundamental problems and simply passes on less opportunity for the next generation. It is like a tropical depression turning into a tropical cyclone and then going from a category 1 to a category 5. Each uptick in the storm are the problems we pass on to the next generation. The whole purpose of this blog is to muse about all these problems and pose some solutions regardless of how absurd they many seem. Below are links for some food for thought. No silver bullet, but certainly something to build upon and fuel for further posts.

    http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/19/norway-denmark-finland-business-washington-world-happiest-countries.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43287918/ns/business-world_business/t/us-doesnt-make-cut-happiest-nations-list/

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8601207.stm

  4. See my brief comments on this problem under the “Beacon on a Hill” section. Unfortunately Sentientleaf, your “all we can do” just isn’t enough by a long shot. Of course, it’s better than doing nothing at all. What this problem boils down to like so many others in this world is the enlightenment of the human being or the lack thereof. In order for population to be controlled (or to have been controlled when it should have been), somehow the entire human species would have to be brought to a point of enlightenment so that it would freely and of its own will control its urge to reproduce. Unfortunately, again, that is easier said than done. The human being as a rule is incurably myopic and there is no indication that this will change anytime soon–in fact, if anything, there are indications that it is becoming more and more so. No, I guess birth control cannot be imposed, and even less can enlightenment be. Our institutions advance freedom as a kind of dogma–but freedom only works if it is of an enlightened nature. Ignorant freedom is a disaster, and a disaster is what we have. I don’t know what the solution is–it’s a conundrum, and a labyrinth. I know I look for joy and fulfillment elsewhere than in “having babies”–and I meet with much success. There don’t seem to be many others out there who see it that way. Only yesterday I played golf with two guys, both of whom told me that they each have five kids. I live in what is considered one of the most liberal neighborhoods in one of the most liberal cities in the US, and everywhere I go I see couples pushing baby strollers down the sidewalks seemingly oblivious to the road those strollers are taking us down. A long ways back people should have begun putting procreation on one side of a scale and quality of existence on the other side and asked themselves how to find a balance between the two. However, I don’t think–in spite of all the evidence that so obviously suggests it should–that this is even happening today except in very small, isolated pockets. And so, the horrific yet comical images in this original post seem destined to become only magnified in their monstrous reflection of the “brave new world” our unenlightened freedom is fashioning. Fasten your seat belts–its going to be a turbulent, and extremely crowded, ride.

  5. This is a problem that few want to talk about….and for that reason it will be more detrimental than anyone wants to think about…..seems that can is on yet another road…..

    Thanx for the visit to Info Ink….

  6. You know what’s sad? The planet is big enough for the billions and billions of people that live in it and for the billions still to come. The only problem can be described in a single word – greed. And then we say “hey, we’re only human”.

    • Yes indeed, it is true we have plenty of space despite a population of 7 billion. In fact I saw a passage that said we could fit all 7 billion of us standing shoulder to shoulder in the city of LA…wouldn’t that be a picture. There are many aspects why our large population is not desireable and the ten pictures on this original post is merely a sample. Greed is a huge piece of the problem as it relates to huge income / wealth disparity.

      If you look at the health, happiness, and existence of the population you will find a large percentage of miserable people whether they admit it or not. Even if we eliminated greed and revamped economic structures such that people were all well fed and housed, I would argue that a large population in the range of 7+ billion still isn’t a desireable situation and large percentages would still be miserable. More to come.

    • I agree SP that greed is a big part of the problem, but the removal of greed is not the solution to it. As I indicated in my reply above, the real problem here is ignorance–both in the sense of stupidity and in the sense of ignoring. And when you really think about it, greed is only a product of ignorance. Even if it could be figured out how to redistribute the wealth of the world on an entirely even plane to the 7 billion people in it, if 90 percent or even 50 percent of those people are ignorant then the world is still going to be a train wreck. It’s not a question either of having enough room or space for all these people–it’s a question of quality of life, resources and impact. Try to imagine all the human waste–I mean excrement–that is produced by 7 billion people and how this must impact the Earth. Then add into that all of the manmade waste, and consider the impact of that upon the Earth and the other species (for example the synthetics in the oceans) trying to live within it. And do you really think there are enough resources to support 7 billion people living a high quality of life, without or without greed? I have my doubts. At the end of the day, overpopulation is greed–unbridled human greed utterly ignorant of the consequences of its selfish will to procreate at any cost.

    • Ha ha, nothing like filling the procreative void and forgetting about the problem of overpopulation with a shopping spree at “Forever 21”. Ha . . . ha.

      • ha ha — she is just messing with me dragonstrand…I was commenting on her blog earlier. If only she could conceive of the men for her choosing in a higher level human existence…she wouldn’t have to go to the mall:)

    • haha…i defended you…I am a hero…I know you don’t go to the mall when you feel lonely…instead…you draw and write…maybe eat a little bit with you daughter:)

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