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Overpopulation is real so why are governments around the globe not making it a priority?

By Nina Steele 

OverpopulationThe heavy criticism that Emmanuel Macron received for stating the obvious about rapid population growth in Africa during the 2017 G20 summit, is proof that many people still don’t understand that, unless rampant population growth is curbed, we are all going to suffer. The current rise in the number of people trying to enter Europe illegally, is just the tip of the iceberg. That’s what you get when you have a large number of people living in poverty with no chance of their situation ever improving. When you have nothing to lose, some people will do anything to make their life better, even if they know that they may die trying.

As an immigrant myself, I have been watching the plight of all those people trying to enter Europe illegally, with deep sadness. They are all seeking a better life and Europe offers everything they have been dreaming about and some more. My life completely changed for the better when I came to the UK 20 years ago. Opportunities that I could only dream about where suddenly there for the taking. I knew that only I stood in the way of my success. That’s what separates the West from most of the Developing Word. In the West, it’s mostly about the individual, whereas in the Developing World, it’s often about who you know and the conditions of your birth. If you were born poor, chances are that you will stay that way, unless you have the right connections, and most people don’t. With that dire background, you wonder why poor people still think it’s ok to have large families.

Poverty in Africa

Once upon a time, before the internet became the global phenomenon that it is, what people in the Developing World knew of the West was what they saw in movies and music videos. Today, the Internet and social media in particular, have changed all that. Through platforms such as facebook, they can see how people in the West live and they want a piece of the action. Hence the rise in the number of migrants trying to enter Europe illegally. All the signs are that it will only get worse, not better. Which is why it surprises me that governments in those parts of the world are still not advising their people to have fewer children.

The Developed World too needs to do more to educate people on the needs to have fewer children or none at all. The charity Population matters says this on the subject: “In the rich world, we consume at astronomical and unsustainable levels. Today, a child born in the US will produce 160 times more carbon than one born in Niger. We are already using the resources of more than one-and-a-half planets. For the Earth to provide for us all, we must reduce our impact as a species – and those of us who are wealthy now must reduce it drastically as soon as we can. There are many ways in which we can and must do that but the single most effective and immediate way of reducing our consumption and our impact is to reduce the number of consumers by having smaller families.”

The consequences of rampant population growth are many. From damage to the environment to famines and social unrest. The Arab spring is a typical example of what happens when you have a growing number of young people who feel as though the system does not work for them. To put it bluntly, we are living in dangerous times in great part because our numbers have become unsustainable.

The seriousness of the impact of population growth on the global food supply was explained in an article in The Times. The article was about Professor Pat Brown’s efforts to create a meat-free burger. The article said this of the impact of population growth on the environment: “An estimated 30%-45% of the world’s ice-free land mass is now taken up with feeding and raising domestic animals and livestock. That’s because, while vegetarianism might be increasing among First-World millennials, the global trend is in the opposite direction. As rising incomes lift more people in the Developing World into the middle class, demand for meat is increasing at a formidable rate.” The article goes on to say that “the tipping point in global food and agriculture may be only 10 years away” and that “at that point, supply can no longer keep up with demand despite exploding food prices. People may starve. Governments may fall.”

And for anyone thinking that this is all scare mongering, I say think again. All the signs are there to suggest that trouble is coming unless we stop procreating at the current rates. There are simply too many of us and we can no longer brush the issue under the carpet.

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