It is a matter of grave concern that the population of the world has crossed more than 700 billion. If it keeps on increasing like this. one day there will be only famine all around. Although, a large number of people are killed by natural calamities including civil war, proxy war, diseases, yet the birth rate has not diminished. Due to this, most of the farming land and forest areas are utilised for living. Finally there won't be a tree and species of other creatures.
Isn't the high time to think and act seriously on this matter?
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I would agree that it's been high time for a while now. I'm not sure that birth rate reduction and population control are the only answers here. We need to find new ways of sustaining our population on a global level. Having large farms support the thousands and millions living in a city isn't a very good use of resources. We need to find better ways to be self-sustaining. Many researchers are looking into ways to create crop growing areas in the cities. Can we grow crops in hanging rows? Can we grow crops on roof tops? I think population control is only a small piece of a very large picture. Even if population growth decreases from its current rate, we still have the problem of supporting 7 billion people on this one planet.
As other editors indicate, we need to understand the motives of people who have large families. For a rural Indian peasant, let us say, having as many children as possible is vital. Some are going to die anyway, but the children that survive can help you in your work and also are your insurance for when you grow older and can no longer work. The fewer children you have, the less chance you have that they will survive to help you in your labour and look after you in your old age. As levels of prosperity rise, normally the birth rate drops, and these factors need to be remembered.
I also like #4's suggestions regarding voluntary birth control measures. The challenge is helping countries that are struggling to develop their economies to find ways to finance something that doesn't offer immediate rewards. A decline in the birth rate in many developing countries won't really change the overall situation for the masses of persons in poverty quickly; too many people may still see a better chance of improving their situation by having more family members to bring in any sort of income.
The bottom line is that family planning is intensely personal. Any governmental attempt to legislate it is going to be resisted unless it is imposed forcefully, as in China.
As post #2 indicates, there are many older, richer countries where the birth rates are declining. In some of these countries they are increasing measures to encourage families to have more children as they fear massive labor shortages, particularly without an influx of immigrants to offset the massive bubble in population that is skewed towards the elderly.
# 4 makes an interesting suggestion. Anything that can be done to curb population expansion by voluntary means would seem to be worth exploring. Of course, as countries become more prosperous, birth rates tend to fall, but whether this will be enough to prevent some kind of catastrophic problem with over-population is another question. There is always the chance that technological innovation will make such a catastrophic outcome less likely, although I would not want to bet on that.
I have to trust in nature taking control (much like brettd states). As resources are deplenished, or eliminated, people will simply be forced to look for other means. Those who have the capability to control those means will be the ones to flourish. Unfortunately, I do not think examination of birth control will help the problem. As justaguide points out, just because people have less children does not mean they will work harder to bring more money into a family.
I simply do not think that there is a way to force birth control. For example, look at the criticism that some countries have taken given their harsh birthing laws. For some, education simply does not work.
It is true that population growth comes down with economic prosperity but there are many things that can be done to encourage people to have smaller families in developing countries by the government.
Examples could include giving the poor an incentive if they decide to use methods of permanent birth control after they have had two children; increasing the spending on eduction of the poor to adopt family planning and not rear children as a means to make them work and bring in money for the family.
A rising population that has reached unsustainable levels would make achieving economic prosperity a very difficult if not an impossible task.
It has been high time for a long time, but acting on this matter means that a lot of money needs to be spent on education and family planning services, which are not usually priorities in the poorer countries. The issue will probably be taken more seriously as the resources we have become more limited, and the choice of having large populations is no longer a choice. Nature will correct our overpopulation, just in an uglier, much less pleasant way than we can ourselves.
It's not true, though, that birth rates haven't declined. They are declining in many parts of the world. History tends to tell us, however, that the decline does not come because of any social programs or efforts to convince people not to have children. Instead, it comes about with economic growth. As a country gets richer, its birth rate falls. So what we really need to do is work on economic growth.
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