Re: Penguin populations falling steeply: biologist (July 1): The author studiously addressed the appearance of falling penguin populations of virtually all penguin species.
She rightly noted human competition for food as a result of ever-rapidly-expanding human population as a contributor.
It may be worthwhile to note than humans compete for just about every item in the food chain, somewhere on earth. Human overpopulation is, and will be addressed if allowed to, by nature’s typical solution-species crash or die-off. But, not before perhaps irreparable damage to the earth’s ecology and environment through species extermination due to resource demands, including food, resulting from overpopulation.
Many, and count me as one, feel that we should spend as much or more time teaching rational population control methods side-by-side with modern agricultural techniques.
Shoreline population growth is the scariest, because it leads to “first use” of a dwindling food resource, the world’s fisheries.
Our nearsighted political policies regarding food, particular offshore U.S.fisheries, which allow millions of tons of U.S.fishery resources to be caught and exported to other countries makes no sense. The Chesapeake Bay is crashing, and has accelerated it’s decline. Offshore New England, and Pacific states are crashing, as well as southern U.S.Atlantic and Pacific coastal stocks. Similar crashes have already occurred in Japan, European North Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia and India.
I am not intending to be politically or ecologically “correct” when I note these problems. I do intend however, to try to encourage all writers, editors and authors to note the effects of human overpopulation when writing about this type of problem, and to encourage solutions-based exploration of this type of discussion.
If world leaders are ever to pay attention to scientific thought regarding overpopulation, it must be presented rationally, and frequently.
In point of fact, we may or may not have reached the “tipping point” in utilization of the world’s food and other resources.
But for sure, recognizing that 20%+ of the world’s population exists on less than minimum standards of daily food allowances must indicate that population control must be combined with providing self-sustaining agricultural production methodology to the areas where continuing food problems occur.
“Feed a man for a day, and he is happy, but hungry again tomorrow. Teach a man to feed himself and he will prosper.” (I’m paraphrasing).
There is some point where earth’s population and resources are self-sustaining; we may have passed it, or technology may allow a population base of seven, eight, even twelve billion or more. It is hard to imagine that level of population approaching any reasonable standard of living, given the scarcity of natural and other resources. We would be much better off stabilizing the world’s population at today’s levels, and planning on providing resources that allow raising the standard of living for all.
But even today, the match between resource needs and population is awry. Food resources in particular aren’t available to those who need them, except through huge charitable contributions from the U.S.and others. And the process of supporting over-populated areas has continued for two generations, and only promises to grow, without some sustained effort by the world community to assist those areas in developing food resources, along with population control, so that they may live and prosper.
The only recreation for hundreds of millions of the world’s poor is sex, and maybe music. Take away the sex, and you better have a lot of musical instruments to offer, or, and here’s a novel idea; birth control methods.
Politics aside, birth control and farming assistance offer the best combination approach to addressing this problem. Otherwise, war and disease will step in and do the job for us.
Oh, and after we teach and feed them, we need to show how to develop whatever other categories of mineral and natural resources they may have.
Population control must be at the top of any priority list which attempts to balance the world’s resources and the needs of various populations.