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Over Population

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Introduction The USA
World Population The Good News
World Population Growth The Bad News
Sustainable Population Carrying Capacity
The Habit of Overpopulating Club of Rome
The American Excuse Infant Mortality Rates
Action Books
Sex Selection Links
Humans are now the most numerous mammal on the planet. There are more humans than rats or mice. Humans have a huge ecological footprint, magnified by their technology.
Dr. David Suzuki (1936-03-24 age:82)
You cannot sustain population growth and / or growth in the rates of consumption of resources.
~ Dr. Albert A. Bartlett (1923-03-21 age:95) click to watch


world population over the last 25,000 years
world population over the last 25,000 years
Nearly all global problems are made worse by overpopulation. Yet we refuse to take any sort of action to limit our populations even though our species has hit the planet like a plague of tent caterpillars. We consider ourselves a rational species, but we foolishly overbreed in a race to turn our paradise of earth to a hell. We have no more sense than tent caterpillars, We are as much a slave to our gonads as any insect.

World Population

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The population clock above may differ from others since this one is based on US Census data and others may be based on UN (United Nations) data. UN data gives higher population estimates. You are free to include this clock on your own website.

There have never been more people on Earth. There have never been more cows on Earth, nor pigs, nor chickens. We are using more pesticides today than at any other time in history and we are losing a greater percentage of the crops. At the same time, there has never been less clean water on Earth. There has never been less available topsoil, nor fewer fish, nor fewer mature trees. There has never been less cause for optimism for the future of the human race. Our natural resources are disappearing at an unbelievable rate and our so-called leaders offer only cosmetic solutions. The Earth’s population calls for more of everything while the Earth demands time to recover from years of abuse.
~ Howard Lyman (1938-09-17 age:79)

World Population Growth

world population growth

You can see from this graph of world population growth the incredible extra burden we are putting on the earth’s carrying capacity, especially in Asia and the Pacific.

The growth in population is very much bound up with poverty and in turn poverty plunders the earth. When human groups are dying of hunger, they eat everything: grass, insects, everything. They cut down the trees, they leave the land dry and bare. All other concerns vanish. That’s why in the next thirty years the problems we call environmental will be the hardest that humanity has to face.
~ Tenzin Gyatso (1935-07-06 age:82) the fourteenth Dalai Lama

Sustainable Population

How big a population can the earth sustain? If everyone consumed like Americans, we would need three entire planets to support them. Experts believe that if we reduced consumption, we might be able to sustain 0.5 to 3 billion people.

The Habit of Overpopulating

Most animals don’t need to concern themselves with overpopulation. Predators take care of the problem. For Why the pope promotes overpopulation predators, starvation handles it. On average only two offspring survive to adulthood, even when an animal has millions of young. Yet we humans have developed technology to strip the land bare and pile layer upon layer of humanity, protected by vaccines. No matter how densely we pack ourselves in, we still strive for ever higher populations out of an ancient biological imperative. It shows up in our outdated religious beliefs. They still push for maximal fecundity even though such fecundity is no longer appropriate. People also have children for status reasons. They also have children to provide for them in their old age. Social institutions refuse to adjust to the new reality of overpopulation.

Single cell organisms normally do all they can to split and become two. However, in multi-celled organisms this urge has to be curtailed. When cells refuse to behave and consider the life of the organism as a whole, they reproduce at will and become a cancer. Similarly in civilisations, there are some groups that refuse to curb their reproduction. Christians and Muslims who resist birth control are the analog of cancer on the body politic.

During the Gadafi ouster, a man from Libya mentioned that he had 70 cousins, a number of whom he had never seen. To avoid a population explosion, you must not have more than 4 first cousins.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

The American Excuse

Americans tell me that it is not their fault the world is overpopulated. The fault lies in Asia and Africa where people have large families. Yet each American consumes 11 times the resources of someone living in Asia or Africa. Americans import these resources from all over the planet. Every American kid counts as 11 kids in terms of burden on the planetary ecosystem. Not only do Americans need to reverse their population growth, they must reduce their ecological footprint. Each American woman has about 2.07 children, equivalent to a family of 23 children in terms of drain on the ecosystem.


If your parents were environmentally irresponsible and had more than two children, you and your siblings can compensate to correct the mini population explosion by limiting yourself to four children among you.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
We must change the archaic attitudes towards breeding. It must become socially unacceptable. This is quite a revolution in our thinking. The urge to breed is so strong it will prevail against almost any social pressure. There is no worry about going too far. If we do, we can adjust.

For example here are some approaches that have been tried, not all of which are very palatable:

Not all these approaches are equally palatable. Even I don’t endorse them all. However, if we don’t get serious about the more palatable ones, we will be forced to use the less palatable ones instead. People sometimes write me furious that I would advocate such strange measures. I don’t. I merely list what has been tried or suggested.
  1. The first homo sapiens walked the earth 200,000 years ago.
  2. It took until 1804 for the global population to reach 1 billion.
  3. 123 years later in 1927, it reached 2 billion.
  4. 33 years later in 1960, it reached 3 billion.
  5. 14 years later in 1974 it reached 4 billion.
  6. 13 years later in 1987 it reached 5 billion.
  7. 12 years later in 1999 it reached 6 billion.
  8. Today it reached 7 billion.
  9. In 2025 it is projected to hit 12 billion.

You can see the problem, called exponential growth. The more people there are, the more people there are having babies and the faster the population grows. The only remotely palatable solution is to lower the birth rate. Each family must have fewer than two children.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)


There are three ways to approach the population problem:
Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.
~ Henry Kissinger (1923-05-27 age:94)

America has focused almost exclusively on increasing the death rate. This is a startling thing to say, but look at her actions, not George W. Bush’s fine speeches.

  1. She interfered with condom education in Africa, which does work and forced religious-based abstinence education which has been proven to make the AIDS epidemic worse.
  2. America blocked African countries from making and distributing AIDS drugs to stop the epidemic. Preserving patents was more important than preserving lives.
  3. America is the stingiest country of all the western nations in terms of foreign aid. Even the greedy Saudis are 50 times as generous. It is ironic two of the richest countries in the world are also the stingiest. Canada is the second stingiest western country giving 2.8 times as generously as the USA as a percentage of GNI (Gross National Income). What makes America’s stinginess even more shameful, is American gives the 1/3 her foreign aid to Israel who spends it on their military to oppress her Palestinian citizens. Israel is a relatively prosperous nation. There are many countries more deserving of help than Israel.
  4. 47% of the planet’s military spending (i.e. spending on ways to kill people) is done by America. Americans kill more people than all other nations combined. Ostensibly this spending is to protect Americans and to improve the quality of American life. However, it accomplishes this by killing people who live in countries that possess the natural resources America wants, such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Zaire.
  5. America backs corrupt political regimes who oppress their people in return for access to natural resources. Let us not forget that it was America who originally helped Saddam, Marcos and Pinochet into power.
  6. American sponsored immunization programs in Africa deliberately reused needles without sterilisation. This spread all manner of diseases including AIDS.
  7. Americans are the most deliberately wasteful group of people on the planet when it comes to resources. There whole culture and status system is built on consumption and waste. Canada is almost as bad.
  8. America encourages ever higher birthrates at home and abroad by discouraging family planning, contraceptives, condoms and abortion.
  9. America encourages ever higher birthrates by destroying economic stability in other countries exploiting workers and destroying unions. Impoverished people have no social security other than a large family.

Sex Selection

In some societies, parents prefer to have male children. It might be wise not to interfere. Why?

It is hard enough to get people to control their rabbit instincts. Let us not interfere with sex selection as a means of population control that does not need a hard sell.

The Good News

Ever since 1968, when the United Nations Population Division predicted that the world population, now 6.6 billion (2006), would grow to at least 12 billion by 2050, the agency has regularly revised its estimates downward. Now it expects population to plateau at nine billion. That is still 2.4 times higher than the goal of 2 billion.
I have severe doubts that we can support even two billion if they all live like citizens of the U.S. The world can support a lot more vegetarian saints than Hummer-driving idiots.
~ Paul Ehrlich (1932-05-29 age:85)

Many western countries have achieved a negative population growth if you discount immigration.

Even in North Africa, regarded as the great exception to the shrinking population trend, birthrates have dropped somewhat. Egypt’s, for example, went from 5.4 births per woman in 1970 to 3.6 in 1999.

If all you do is teach people how to use birth control and provide women with access to it, you don’t need any coercion. In Africa people still have large families, but that is because there is no old age security other than children. When that security is provided, family size automatically shrinks because birth control frees women to other things besides raise babies.

The Bad News

Can you think of any problem, in any area of human endeavor, on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?
~ Dr. Albert A. Bartlett (1923-03-21 age:95) click to watch
Corporations have magnified the power of human greed to widen the wealth gap. They have encouraged conspicuous consumption. Religions are still goading their adherents to breed faster than any other sect. At the same time the power of the earth to sustain is waning through the end of oil (upon which the green revolution is based), the erosion of soil, pesticide and chemical contamination of soil and water, urban sprawl into the prime farm land and global warming which is destabilising climate and rain.

Too many things have to go right for us to get out of this one without massive pain. It is just not going to happen. Most of the world are like pigs in a trough trampling the environment not thinking about anything other than their immediate gratification. All we can do is try to make it not quite so awful, to preserve at least a few acres from the ravening caterpillars that humanity have become, so that at least there will be islands of life to reseed the earth after the human plague has passed. We humans are the biggest extinction event in the history of the planet, wiping out even more species than the asteroid that hit earth and ended the age of the dinosaurs. Being proud of being human is like being proud of being an Ebola virus.

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.
~ Joni Mitchell (1943-11-07 age:74), Big Yellow Taxi

Earth’s Carrying Capacity

In 1961 the earth had 3 billion people. They were using 0.5 of the sustainable resources of earth.

In 1986 the earth had 5 billion people. They were using all of the sustainable resources.

Ever since we have been running that might be called an environmental deficit budget which is only sustained by plundering our capital base.

By that I mean:

You have seen the results of Bush deficit budgets. The same sort of thing is happening on a planetary basis.

At the rate we are going, we would need 2 whole planets to sustain our rapacious appetites in 2050. Something has obviously got to give — most pleasantly our wasteful use of energy.

Club of Rome

A group of scientists known as the Club of Rome back in the 1970s attempted to predict when population would outstrip resources. They predicted serious problems much too soon. The data they were given about energy and mineral resources seriously underestimated the untapped wealth of the earth. They were basically right, but got the timing wrong. In contrast, today we know exactly how many pollutants of each kind are being released into the atmosphere with great precision. Further because of extraordinary improvements in computers, the mathematical predictions are now much more accurate. People afraid to look at the serious problems facing humanity like to bury their heads in the sand by telling themselves scientists are always wrong because the Club of Rome’s timing was off. Of course they trust scientists in nearly ever other instance, from pharmaceuticals to aeronautics.

Infant Mortality Rate

The usual measure of a country’s health care system is the IMR (Infant Mortality Rate). the number of infant deaths per 1000 births. There are some surprises taken from this table compiled by the CIA. Countries near the top of the list have the best healthcare systems. Even though the USA spends more on health care than any other country it has the worst IMR of any first world country. Even third world Cuba beats it. Canada spends about 1/3 per capita of what the USA does on health care, yet Canada ranks 24 to the USA’s 51.

Canada dropped from rank 23 to 43. The USA dropped from rank 43 to 51.

Americans are paying more than anyone else in the world and receiving third world quality health care. Clearly they are being ripped off, but Americans are too proud to admit it. They live under the delusion their health care must be the best in the world simply because it is the most expensive and has the most TV ads touting it.

Infant Mortality Rates 2012
Rank Country IMR Notes
1 Monaco 1.80 best in the world
2 Japan 2.21
3 Bermuda 2.47
4 Singapore 2.65
5 Sweden 2.74 So much for the canard that socialised medicine does not work.
6 Hong Kong 2.90 Not quite what you would expect.
7 Macau 3.17
8 Iceland 3.18
9 Italy 3.36
10 Spain 3.37
11 Finland 3.40
12 France 3.40
13 Anguilla 3.44
14 Norway 3.50
15 Germany 3.51
16 Guernsey 3.52
17 Malta 3.65
18 Belarus 3.70
19 Czech Republic 3.70
20 Netherlands 3.73
21 Andorra 3.76
22 Ireland 3.81
23 Switzerland 3.90
24 Jersey 3.94
25 Israel 4.07
26 Korea, South 4.08
27 Slovenia 4.12
28 Denmark 4.19
29 Austria 4.26
30 Isle of Man 4.27
31 Belgium 4.28
32 Liechtenstein 4.39
33 Luxembourg 4.39
34 European Union 4.49
35 Australia 4.55
36 United Kingdom 4.56
37 Portugal 4.60
38 Taiwan 4.60
39 Wallis and Futuna 4.61
40 San Marino 4.65
41 New Zealand 4.72
42 Cuba 4.83
43 Canada 4.85 Rose from 4.69 under the Conservative Harper government.
44 French Polynesia 4.88
45 Greece 4.92
46 Hungary 5.24
47 New Caledonia 5.62
48 Guam 5.70
49 Northern Mariana Islands 5.70
50 Faroe Islands 5.94
51 United States 6.00
52 Croatia 6.06
53 Bosnia and Herzegovina 6.10
54 Lithuania 6.18
55 Serbia 6.40
56 Poland 6.42
57 Slovakia 6.47
58 Cayman Islands 6.49
59 Gibraltar 6.55
60 Qatar 6.81
61 Estonia 6.94
62 Virgin Islands 7.10
63 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 7.29
64 Russia 7.30
65 Chile 7.40
66 Kuwait 7.87
67 Puerto Rico 8.10
68 Latvia 8.24
69 Macedonia 8.32
70 Ukraine 8.38
71 Nauru 8.51
72 Cyprus 9.05
73 Costa Rica 9.20
74 American Samoa 9.40
75 Saint Kitts and Nevis 9.43
76 Uruguay 9.44
77 Sri Lanka 9.47
78 Greenland 9.83
79 Bahrain 10.20
80 Botswana 10.49
81 Argentina 10.52
82 Fiji 10.73
83 Romania 10.73
84 Grenada 11.12
85 Brunei 11.15
86 Mauritius 11.20
87 Panama 11.32
88 Seychelles 11.35
89 United Arab Emirates 11.59
90 Barbados 11.63
91 Turks and Caicos Islands 11.63
92 Palau 12.10
93 Dominica 12.38
94 Saint Lucia 12.39
95 Aruba 12.51
96 Libya 12.70
97 Bahamas, The 13.09
98 Tonga 13.21
99 Moldova 13.65
100 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 13.86
101 Albania 14.12
102 Antigua and Barbuda 14.17
103 Jamaica 14.30
104 British Virgin Islands 14.43
105 West Bank 14.47
106 Malaysia 14.57
107 Georgia 14.68
108 Montserrat 14.69
109 Oman 14.95
110 Syria 15.12
111 Cook Islands 15.30
112 Lebanon 15.32
113 Saudi Arabia 15.61
114 China 15.62
115 Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha 15.80
116 Jordan 15.83
117 Thailand 15.90
118 Colombia 15.92
119 Bulgaria 16.13
120 Gaza Strip 16.55
121 Mexico 16.77
122 Solomon Islands 17.25
123 Vanuatu 17.90
124 Armenia 18.21
125 Philippines 18.75
126 Ecuador 19.06
127 El Salvador 19.66
128 Honduras 19.85
129 Venezuela 20.18
130 Viet Nam 20.24
131 Brazil 20.50
132 Uzbekistan 21.20
133 Dominican Republic 21.30
134 Belize 21.37
135 Peru 21.50
136 Samoa 21.85
137 Nicaragua 21.86
138 Paraguay 22.24
139 Marshall Islands 22.93
140 Kazakhstan 23.06
141 Turkey 23.07
142 Algeria 23.40
143 Micronesia, Federated States of 23.51
144 Egypt 24.23
145 Tunisia 24.98
146 Guatemala 25.16
147 Cape Verde 26.02
148 Korea, North 26.21
149 Maldives 26.46
150 Morocco 26.49
151 Trinidad and Tobago 26.73
152 Indonesia 27.00
153 Zimbabwe 28.23
154 Azerbaijan 28.76
155 Suriname 28.94
156 Kyrgyzstan 30.80
157 Tuvalu 33.55
158 Guyana 35.59
159 Mongolia 36.00
160 Tajikistan 37.33
161 Kiribati 37.68
162 Iraq 40.25 Under American occupation
163 Eritrea 40.34
164 Turkmenistan 40.89
165 Ghana 40.90
166 Bolivia 40.94
167 Iran 41.11
168 Timor-Leste 41.40
169 Papua New Guinea 42.05
170 Bhutan 42.17
171 South Africa 42.67
172 Nepal 43.13
173 Kenya 43.61
174 Namibia 45.61
175 India 46.07
176 Tanzania 46.50
177 Madagascar 47.40
178 Burma 47.74
179 Bangladesh 48.99
180 Gabon 49.00
181 Togo 49.87
182 Sao Tome and Principe 51.83
183 Haiti 52.44
184 Djibouti 53.31
185 Lesotho 53.44
186 Yemen 53.50
187 Cambodia 54.08
188 Senegal 55.16
189 Sudan 55.60
190 Laos 57.77
191 Mauritania 58.93
192 Western Sahara 58.96
193 Guinea 59.04
194 Swaziland 59.57
195 Cameroon 59.70
196 Benin 60.03
197 Burundi 60.32
198 Ethiopia 60.90
199 Pakistan 61.27
200 Rwanda 62.51
201 Cote d'Ivoire 63.20
202 Uganda 64.20
203 Comoros 68.97
204 Gambia, The 69.58
205 Zambia 70.60
206 South Sudan 71.80
207 Liberia 72.71
208 Congo, Republic of the 74.22
209 Nigeria 74.36
210 Equatorial Guinea 75.18
211 Congo, Democratic Republic of the 76.63
212 Sierra Leone 76.64
213 Mozambique 76.85
214 Malawi 79.02
215 Burkina Faso 79.84
216 Angola 83.53
217 Niger 89.70
218 Chad 93.61
219 Guinea-Bissau 94.40
220 Central African Republic 97.17
221 Somalia 103.72
222 Mali 108.70
223 Afghanistan 121.63 Under American occupation. Worst in the world.
Ironically, where IMR is lowest, population growth is slowest, so it pays to improve infant mortality to reduce population.
Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die.
~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86) on overpopulation.


Scientists have discovered four solutions to overpopulation:


book cover recommend book⇒The Coming Population Crash: and Our Planet’s Surprising Futureto book home
by Fred Pearce 978-0-8070-0122-6 paperback
birth 1951 age:66 978-0-8070-8583-7 hardcover
publisher Beacon B003DZ1116 kindle
published 2010-04-01
The title is a bit of a misnomer. The author predicts population will top out at about 8 billion in 2040 and then gradually drop. The women of all the countries of the world are voluntarily having fewer babies so they can join the work force. Italy has already dropped its birth rate to 1.1, less than needed to sustain. The earth’s population is aging. This is a good thing since older people tend to be more willing to make the sacrifices needed for a green planet and, of course, they don’t have more babies.
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book cover recommend book⇒Our Plundered Planetto book home
by Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. 978-0-316-66608-4 hardcover
birth 1887-01-15 1969-09-16 age:82
publisher Little, Brown
published 1948-01
The most important thing about this book is that it was published in 1948, 14 years before Rachael Carson and Silent Spring. It focuses on over population, soil erosion, invasive species, massive water control projects and the rapacious practices of corporations. These problems were apparent even back then and we did almost nothing about them. There is also a paperback version of this book, but it does not have an ISBN.
Australian flag abe books anz abe Canadian flag
German flag abe Canadian flag
German flag Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
Spanish flag Chapters Indigo eBooks Canadian flag
Spanish flag abe American flag
French flag abe American flag
French flag Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag abe Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag Kobo American flag
India flag Google play American flag
UK flag abe O’Reilly Safari American flag
UK flag Powells American flag
UN flag other stores
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
New York Times article: Demographic Bomb May Only Go Pop!
Population clock
Population Speakout
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