Overpopulation Essay, Research Paper
October 12, 1999 marks the day when the world’s population supposedly reached six billion. Many humanitarians and ecologists worry that soon the planet’s population will become too big for our food production and resources to support. With the current population growth rate, the total population in the year 2050 is estimated to be between 7.3 and 10.7 billion (Kluger, “The Big Crunch” 47). Soon the Congress of the United States will vote on whether to restore $60 million of U.S. taxpayer funding over the next two years for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The United Nations Population Fund, for the past 30 years, has been involved with “brutal population control programs” such as China’s genocidal one-couple, one-child policy. However, using taxpayer money to fund these programs is a total waste of time, money, and energy. The world is not overpopulated; thus, population control is unnecessary, it is also unethical and anti-religious beliefs.
Population control presents several problems for a country. The Philippines, for example, has an “artificial” birth control program, instated by the government and funded by UNFPA. The people of the Philippines, consisting mainly of Catholics and Muslims, are taxed to pay for this program. Because of its nature, contraception must be paid for every year, in increasing amounts. “Over 20 years from 1970 to 1990, it has cost our people over three billion pesos (P3,000,000,000), but has not significantly achieved its self-assigned goals of reducing poverty or improving quality of life.” This is because artificial contraception is incapable of accomplishing those goals. “It is powerless in removing the yoke of poverty from our people. It is impotent in improving the lot of victims of economic inequity, which is the real cause of poverty,” says Antonio B. de los Reyes (http://www.pop.org/students/cbreyes.html).
Contraception, a mild form of population control, goes against the grain of Filipinos, who traditionally respect life, and see children not only as resources for production, nor only as means of security for the future, but also as blessings from God and expressions of gratitude to Him. American propaganda and aid policy have portrayed this pro-life orientation as “anti-development”, and the contraceptive establishment has gradually infiltrated into Filipino minds fewer children mean more happiness. Yet the impotence of past national governments in mobilizing the people’s labor resources, and its squandering of the nation’s capital assets, were the real problems. Why should we change our positive values to make amends for incompetence and corruption? Children are God’s gifts to us. Should we sacrifice them to make up for the failures of our political and economic leaders (http://www.pop.org/students/cbreyes.html)?
The contraceptive program’s management machinery is a nightmare. It fields 2,500 full-time workers, supports 50,000 subsidized “volunteers,” and retains a coordinating staff of over 300 with vague managerial responsibilities. These do not include the numerous clinic personnel in the Department of Health’s bureaucratic network, and hundreds of private agencies, which opportunistically mushroomed from the outpouring of foreign funds. While POPCOM’s field force is among the best-trained and qualified government workers, the disarray at central management level renders it impotent. If this whole network were channeled instead into the government’s livelihood program, these well-trained government workers would most likely be more productive and more professionally trained (http://www.pop.org/students/cbreyes.html).
Aside from the many problems population controls causes, it is unnecessary. The world can feed its people. Despite the concerns expressed, the food situation has improved dramatically for most of the world’s consumers. World output of cereals, the main food source for most consumers, has increased by 2.7 percent per annum since 1950 while population has grown by about 1.9 percent per annum. Cereal yields alone have increased more rapidly than world population since 1950—at 2.24 percent per annum. This has allowed per capita calorie consumption in developing countries to increase by about 27 percent since the early 1960s (http://www.pop.org/students/feed.html).
The whole world’s population could fit in the state of Texas and very comfortably indeed. Everyone, including the poorest of the poor, would enjoy living conditions/housing conditions that are now only available to the wealthiest of people. The land area of Texas is some 262,000 square miles, and current UN estimates of the world’s population (for 12 October 1999) are about 6 billion. If the square miles are converted into square feet (multiplying 5,280 feet per mile twice) and divided by the world’s population, one readily finds that there are more than 1,217 square feet per capita. A family of 5 could occupy more than 6,085 square feet of living space, which, even in Texas, is considered a mansion. These numbers apply to just one-story, ranch house-type dwellings, and if a mixture of multi-story buildings, including town houses, apartment buildings and high rises, appreciably greater living space could be provided, allowing for ample roads and yards (http://www.pop.org/students/texas1.html).
If the birth rates continue at status quo, our population will reach almost 11 billion by the year 2050. However, our earth can support those people, and population control then is unnecessary. Trying to control the population takes away the basic human right to life.
des los Reyes, Antonio B. 23 Feb. 19998. Population
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“Did you know?” (1999). The World Almanac. 3 May 2000.
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