Not a bad word for an elephant, but it can quickly fill a small room and not disappear on its own. This is also the case with overpopulation – people take up more and more space and no one talks about it.
In 2022 we will reach 8 billion people according to the United Nations. The population is increasing by approx. 220,000 people per day. Every week, 1.6 million new consumers come to the world. Growth is greatest in Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa, every woman now has an average of 5.7 children.
This is not only because we breed like rabbits, but also because we no longer die like flies. Kurt Odekalf, former president of the Norwegian Society for the Protection of the Environment, has claimed that our ability to survive and reproduce ourselves, as well as the fact that we are consuming more and more resources on the globe that will harbor more than just humans, is the world’s biggest environmental problem.
What’s the plan? Do you have a home, a job, transportation, nice holidays, enough food and clean water for everyone? eleminate poverty? Do we believe the growth of prosperity will never end?
Oh yes, it will. Population growth is a disaster for nature. Rainforests are burned and planted, rivers redistribute and groundwater is pumped from great depths, causing drought. Overfishing, logging and topsoil degradation. Sprays and fertilizers are a direct threat to soil, groundwater, and biodiversity.
We displace animals and plants. Infrastructure takes up larger parts of their living areas. Wetlands are shrinking, affecting, among other things, migratory birds and reducing protection from flood and landslide damage. Predators must die because we use their habitat. Insects, birds, reptiles, small mammals, plants, fungi and trees are affected.
The sixth irreversible mass extinction is underway.
Everything that benefits people here and now outweighs the needs of nature. We give it a moral justification, putting ourselves first and foremost. We are gluttons in the earth’s food bowl, costing us what nature would cost us. We demand to have as many children as we want, and nature must be good enough to adapt to all the requirements to which this leads. It is our right because we are human, a human view.
Almost no one will discuss this situation. But we cannot survive as a species without nature.
Climate change and natural crisis are the symptoms, and overpopulation is the problem. We are now destroying nature at a pace the world has never seen before. There are no environmental problems not related to overpopulation.
David Attenborough put it this way: “Mankind can no longer be allowed to grow in the same old, undisciplined way. If we do not control the size of our population, nature will do it for us – and it will be the poor of the world who will suffer the most.”
If everyone in the world consumed as we do in Norway, we would need 2.69 plots of land per year. In Norway, we hit “Earth Transcend Day” on April 12th. Then we will have exhausted our share of the earth’s resources for this year.
For the rest of the year, we must live on air soup and waiting bowls. We have seen several decades of growth in wealth, exotic trips abroad, and an abundance of shopping. Are we ready to surrender? barely. Here, the throttle will probably be full until we meet the wall. It will be a painful end for those who come after us on a dead planet.
Nature’s own methods against a densely populated species are starvation and disease. Nature has so far presented Ebola, SARS and the virus, but nothing bites us – not as expected.
We must become less and we must consume less. The cure for an exotic calf is that each country has to find out approximately how many people they can feed. 10-20% food imports. Climate change and monoculture crops lead to food shortages. Barren lands must be cultivated, food prices must rise and organic farming – which makes soil sustainable for generations – must become the norm.
Global sustainable development and the fight against poverty are still not possible with unlimited population growth and economic growth goals. Erna Solberg encouraged us to have more children. It was foolish to motivate the Norwegians to produce more consumers on a large scale.
High birth rates relate to the need for biological reform, economic security, cultural status, and religious taboos against family planning. The biological need for reproduction can be regulated through public education and easy access to adoption.
IVF should be discontinued. Financial incentives to have children can be removed. When the standard of living rises, birth rates fall. In Western countries, birth rates are relatively low, from 1.5 to 2.2.
Culture lies deep within us, but we are affected by the cultural context. Here, increasing women’s rights and their inclusion in the workforce will help. Religious taboos, laws, and negative attitudes toward abortion and contraception oppress women. Such attitudes must change. Contraceptives should be cheap or free.
Our politicians must take quick action, address the relationship between overpopulation and the nature/climate crisis and create a clear action plan for all countries in the world with Child Policy 1-2. Science fiction dystopia has become a reality. Things don’t go away even if we don’t talk about them. The elephant grows and fills the entire room.
The catastrophe is approaching every day. Politicians should take this very seriously, and not encourage us to have more children.
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