“But even a shield of stuff could not protect us, rich or poor.”

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE ME OH SO SAD WITH ALL OF THIS TALK OF THE DEATH OF THE HUMAN RACE? WE CAN’T BE THAT SCREWED…

The concept of risk a little tricky to decipher. Many of us think of the people who warn us about doomsday as exaggerating hippies who don’t have enough science to know what theyre talking about. But we are also told to view those who claim that there really is no risk at all to our actions to be in the pocket of some big corporation or another. And the amount of middle ground for the undecided to stand on is getting progressively smaller and smaller. In such an extreme setting, how the hell could anyone know what action to take to fix these possible apocalyptic risks? Can we even count on these risks or assurances of safety at all?

Courtesy of blog.lordcob.com

Overpopulation, however, is in its own in this world of gray coloring, as many of the “risks” we associate with it have been present in our society for decades, even before we reached these huge numbers. Things like severe income inequality, famine, drought, and lack of equitably shared resources (plus the other issues I mentioned in It’s a small world after all…), have been around way before our populations reached the billions mark.

The harm of overpopulation has never been a far off risk- its been incorporated in our society for years, and we have been taught that its just something we have to accept as humans. Because this world is cruel and unfair, and we just have to suck it up, buttercup.

But we do know that continuing overpopulation can lead to even lower quality of life. There is, of course, always more risk in the horizon. And that’s a little scary to think about… so I’m not going to think about it. Because both you and I have heard the horror stories so many damn times now that its basically background buzz to daily life. And who really cares about sad background music when there’s a fun, happy story to be had?

Courtesy of salesforce.com

But heres the beautiful part of overpopulation- since we’ve been living with the negative effects so long, we actually have a unique opportunity to gain huge benefits from letting our numbers decline. By analyzing how the media looks at the benefits from fixing population over covering the risks associated with a growing population, we can look at not just the agenda and frame of the issue, but the sense of empowerment that these news organizations are giving their audience. Because it is that empowerment that will truly lead to the change we need to fix the population crisis.

TO BE POOR,HUNGRY, AND RESPONSIBLE FOR MOUTHS TO FEED IN THE LAND OF THE RICH AND THE FAT…

Courtesy of msnbcmedia1.msn.com

If you live in any sort of urban area, you will know what I mean when I say that its sometimes hard to see past the classic street corner beger. The stories all seem to be the same- not enough money, not enough food, please, please help me. God bless. In fact, approximately 49.1 million people in the United States alone are in a food insecure situation.

We see the three top dogs in prime time TV news talking about the impoverished in America all the time, but they usually blame the ignorant policy makers, racial discriminations, or even the president for all of these miserable people. And while all of these do have an impact on the unemployment rate, there is still one main common denominator.

But something that only NBC seems to even acknowledge is that with lower population rates comes more equal wealth distribution. The idea is simple- if there are less mouths to feed with the same amount of food, then less people will go hungry. It’s a basic division word problem, something they teach us in grade school. But the news organizations have failed miserably in their watchdog positions to recognize this painfully obvious fact. Instead, they like to shift blame to the other culturally accepted scapegoats.

WHY DO YOU PEOPLE HATE ME FOR MY VAGINA?

Sorry, didn’t mean to freak out the lot of you who are afraid of a body part’s name…

But that title is to ironically funny to not use, and the point is as true as ever- women are not treated the same as men, even in an age with many feminist revolutions having past and supposedly succeeded in their goals. And this primarily comes from the main cultural obsession we have programmed directly from our biology into our society- sex and babies. It can be stated with some serious support that women are only valued today on either how sexy they are or how good of mothers they are.

courtesy of encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com

And with this cultural addiction to sex comes a huge gap in respect between men and women, either in the pay gap, in lack of executive power, and in lack of political representation. And the news networks have latched on to this problem, deeming it as a newsworthy cultural issue. But what they don’t know is that by solving the overpopulation problem, we will have the opportunity to give women more freedoms and respect outside of their bodies.

Because as the baby makers of the world, women’s minds and bodies are the main control to fix this problem of the population crisis. By empowering women to make their bodies their own, they can choose to have as little kids as they really want, versus what society thinks is ethically right in having as many children as possible.

By looking at women not as the happy housewives that will have as many children as their husbands wants, but instead as equal members of the workforce and society, we can find the solution to the population crisis while bringing equality to half of our population.

WELL IF HE THROWS HIS TRASH IN THE RIVER, THAT MEANS EVERYONE CAN TOO, RIGHT?

This is another simple math problem that I discussed in It’s a small world after all…: the more people we have around, the more trash they will produce, especially us first worlders. There has been all this talk by almost everyone that the way to fix our mass pollution is to conserve our consumption, sacrifice our comforts, and make all of our technology infinitely more efficient. But no matter what way we look at the pollution problem, the solution is either inconvenient or extremely expensive for both individual households and the nation.

Courtesy of cloudfront.net

But overpopulation is probably one of the biggest contributors to the pollution problem today, for one simple economic reason: more consumers means more production, more production AND consumption means more trash.

So if we have less consumers around the world, we will simply produce less waste that will pollute our environment. Not only would this significantly help lessen the pollution problem, but over time (think decades) we would have no more climate change due to sustainable amounts of pollution.

It would even be sustainable for developing countries (with smaller populations, of course) to live the lifestyle we in the first world are so blessed to have, with almost zero side effects to be had on the climate! Wouldn’t that be nifty.

SO WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS GET PEOPLE TO DO IS STOP HAVING SO MANY BABIES? HOW COULD THAT EVER HAPPEN, DOESN’T SEEM TO BE GETTING THE JIST OF IT?

Courtesy landscapephotographyblogger.wp.com

Yeah, thats the funny thing about lack of media coverage.

Chances are, without major news networks bringing awareness to these critical benefits we have to gain from decreasing the population size, we won’t see a change in behavior anytime soon. Without news channels educating their viewers about these incentives to practice responsible reproduction, the public will see having small families as not worth it. Why should they give up their happiness just for the safety of their children, or their grandchildren?

But, by spreading awareness ourselves in this time of news blackout, we can bring awareness to this global issue. By telling people about all we have to gain by solving the overpopulation problem, we can hopefully change their perspective on the American Dream, Perfect Family model- thus successfully fixing this pickle we’ve put ourselves in, one generation at a time.

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3 thoughts on ““But even a shield of stuff could not protect us, rich or poor.”

  1. Love your attitude in your writing and your vocabulary usage to get your point across!Very unique style and I love it. This topic is also vary difficult to cover and I commend you for being able to do it! Reading up on how the world is ending because of population overgrowth is scary but you cover it so well. Also love the bit of feminist empowerment because it is SO TRUE. If women knew they had the power to control not only they’re wage gap but how men and other women think of them just by controlling the amount of kids you have, we’d be doing it! There’s just not enough media coverage with the facts, And you got those facts. Awesome Blog!!
    -Carly Cipolla

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  2. I absolutely love your writing style, I started with your first blog post and ended up going through each one! The way you use pictures and comics is also fantastic. I’ve taken a population geography class and this was pretty much the topic of the entire class. (Like you said, there’s a lot to cover on this issue.)

    “Sorry, didn’t mean to freak out the lot of you who are afraid of a body part’s name…”
    Thank you for this ^^^
    In that class I took, everything came back around to the demographic transition, which almost literally cannot happen without an increase in women’s education and health. If the media don’t recognize that helping women helps EVERYONE in the U.S. and other developed nations I don’t know how the point will ever come across in any other country.

    While we still have a while to go in the U.S. for real equality, the process hasn’t even started in other parts of the world. I wasn’t sure if your blog was covering just the U.S. or if the media articles you found talked about “overpopulation” only pertained to us (and our teenage pregnancy problems… they obviously haven’t paid much attention to the third world). That is one thing I wish our media would recognize is that the U.S. is actually pretty much at just above replacement level, (parents having enough kids to replace themselves) and the largest overpopulation risks stem from the countries where the demographic transition hasn’t yet occurred. Additionally a country that is beneath replacement level is also at risk (see Japan or Germany.. and some problems with us) because they don’t have a large enough working class to support the retired/ elderly.

    Awesome blog. Keep writing, you’re great at it!

    -Katie Hitchcock

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  3. This is a crazy topic and I agree that media is doing a terrible job of revealing this kind of information to the world! Your humorous and friendly writing style also makes this blog that much more intriguing. Overpopulation could be the single most detrimental threat to the human race and you nailed a lot of the critical solutions on the head having to do with poverty. However, the United States seems to actually be doing pretty well with stabilizing its population growth. A lot of the media that covers overpopulation, as you mentioned, is related to poverty and it is especially true in very rural places in the world where having children is essentially their only choice. Countries such as China or India are not considered rural nor countries with and especially high birth rate, yet they have the greatest population (USA is third most populated country in the world.) The fertility rate in countries such as Niger is almost seven kids per woman due to their living circumstances. The heart of overpopulation to me is in countries where there is little alternative to having children in third-world countries and I agree that the media does not suffice in getting this critical information out there! Overall great topic and great job, keep writing!

    Tommy Veronesi

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