For most of his adult life, Isaac Asimov preached about the dangers of over-population. In one of his essays, he said something along the lines of the fact that most people would be starving by the year 2000.
Well, it's the year 2000. Are most people starving? Why, yes, they are. There are various areas in Africa that have been under drought conditions for decades, and the people who live there are starving, not helped by the fact that they are in the middle of warzones and their own governments are letting them twist in the wind. They're getting food - occassionally - sure - brought in as charity from other countries.
What about people in the US. 50% of people in the US are on some form of welfare, including food stamps. Without that welfare, without "fortunate" (or should that be, industrious) people giving them charity, those people would be starving because they have no way of making a living for themselves - no education, too many children.
Florida has a little something called the Everglades. It used to be a big something, it's now a little something, and its becoming littler every day as thousands of people move to Florida every year - either legally or illegally - and the water table just can't cope.
There are states in the US that have to import their water from other states, as they have no water of their own. What happens when those other states run out of water?
The author below has read Asimov's fiction. Too bad she hasn't read his non-fiction.
From The Alchemists' Blog: Layman’s perspective of the 7 billionth
When I heard Nargis of India was born, and Danica of Philippines was born and Alexander of Russia was born, I felt strange. Oh, 7 billion? Well, ok!
I felt strange, because it had nothing to do with the overwhelming opinions regarding the huge population of the world. It had nothing to do with the adequacy of resources. It was about the attitude of all the 7 billion.
Heck, Earth was over staffed when it reached the 1 billion mark, I would say. Oh, do you remember this long forgotten statistic of the 1 billionth baby? This will happen with the 7 billionth too.
Who knew, we loved to procreate? My husband says, early earthlings had no other way to pass time. I neither agree nor disagree and vehemently state that is not the object of this post. I just want to voice my tiny little opinion that, this is not the end of the world, err… earth, literally.
Ever read the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov? Asimov created robots in his stories to be helpers of the humans, and then goes on to colonize other worlds –Trantor, Terminus, Solaris, Aurora, the list is endless. If you have happened to read those amazing series, you would feel strangely awesomely delightful about the possibilities. I think now is the time for our very dear NASAites to think about this. No, I am not giving orders, but subtle suggestions like the second foundationers from Asimov’s book. Lol!
Spread love, like the evangelists preach, like the philosophers ruminate, like the spiritualists will, like everyday people (you and me) wish. Stop war abruptly. Eradicate anger, hatred, racism and intolerance, like you press the “Shift+Del” key of your computer. Compassion and Understanding are two huge tasks. This possibility sounds even more difficult than colonizing worlds, huh?! I know, it’s the same for me too. But ah, well, definitely worth a try what do you think? If you have to see those billion faces again and again and again for at least 70 odd years (assuming mother earth decides not to get rid of her burden sooner lol ), then at least learn to tolerate them. Perhaps, eventually, we can understand the billions and learn to ‘pretend’ to love. See, I am again being realistic by only requesting us to pretend (for starters, at least :p ).
Oh, there is another prospect too. Keep cribbing about earth’s burden, ecology, global warming, population per square mile (or whatever else the math works out to), inadequacy of resources, possibilities of future penury, starvation, wastage of food, other statistics, incomprehensible ratios and such. I leave it to the statisticians, economists, mathematicians, planners, and whoever else is responsible of these things. And with all that, welcome the endless blogs, endless newspaper articles, endless debates and discussions on the media. And everyone’s tiny and shrieky voices about population EXPLOSION and all the ‘earthly’ mumbo jumbo. Scary, huh?!!
But, we are all here to stay, all 7 billion of us, unless we resort to civilized, planned man slaughter. And well, I don’t foresee that weird situation. So, let us work towards making a better world for today and tomorrow and evolve into better people. The rest of the statistics, scares, and environmental/ecological trivia will either fall into place or all of us collectively, lovingly, egregorically will out an idea.
And possibly (*wink wink*) discover many many worlds outside of our stellar systems.
Love the Asimov guy! The possibilities never end!