By nature and animal Ida Skjerden
Not a bad word for an elephant, but it can fill a small room quickly. The idea is that if no one talks about it or pretends it doesn’t exist, it takes up more and more space, and doesn’t disappear on its own. This is also the case with the phenomenon of overpopulation – people occupy more and more space and no one talks about it.
The world population is increasing by 80 million annually. In 2022, we are now 8 billion people (United Nations). The population is increasing by about 220,000 people daily. Every week, 1.6 million new people, new consumers, come to Earth, new violators of the Earth’s resources. There are 10,000 new people every hour. Amazing numbers.
Growth is greatest in Africa. The United Nations estimates that Africa’s population will double over the next 40 years, from 1.34 billion in 2020 to 2.7 billion in the 1950s. In sub-Saharan Africa, each 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, we get older and infant mortality has gone down. Kurt Oddekalv (2018), former president of the Environmental Protection Society, has claimed that our enormous ability to survive and reproduce ourselves as well as consume more and more resources on a planet that will harbor more than just humans, is the largest in the world. environmental problem. The Earth is experiencing a great loss of nature and biodiversity and a major climate change. Zoologist Harald Creavey (2018) believes that overpopulation is the problem that no one wants to talk about because it affects culture and religious practices, among other things.
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.
Overpopulation is a natural disaster. Rainforests are burned and cultivated, wetlands are drained for agriculture, rivers are redistributed and groundwater is pumped from great depths, causing drought. Poaching and other predatory activities occur on nature with the full blessing of the authorities. We build the topsoil. Pesticides and fertilizers pose a direct threat to soil, groundwater and biodiversity. We displace animals and plants from their habitats. Infrastructure that weighs in takes on or divides larger portions of its habitat. Wetlands are shrinking, affecting migratory birds and reducing protection against flood damage and landslides. Predators must die in order to use their territories. Conflicts between animals and humans increase as we penetrate their habitats. We are the ones standing in their footsteps, not the other way around. Insects, birds, reptiles and small mammals are also affected by this, as well as plants, fungi and trees. The sixth irreversible mass extinction is underway.
Everything that benefits people here and now outweighs the needs of nature, we give it moral justification, and put ourselves on top, in the Anthropocene. We enjoy the dishes of the earth, whatever the cost of nature. We humans demand to have as many children as we want, and nature must be very good at adapting to all the demands that this leads to. It is our right because we are human, a human view. Almost no one wants to discuss this situation. But we cannot survive as a species without nature.
Climate change and natural crisis are symptoms, 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 said: “The human population can no longer be allowed to grow in the same old, uncontrolled way. If we do not take responsibility for 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 globes per year. In Norway we hit Earth Overshoot Day 12.04.2022. Then we will have exhausted our share of the earth’s resources for this year. We shall live the rest of the year on air soup and waiting bowls. We have seen decades of prosperity and growth; Exotic trips abroad and shopping galore. Are we ready to quarrel? barely. Here there may be a gas embargo until we meet the wall. It would be a slow and painful death for posterity on a dead planet.
Nature’s own methods against a densely populated species are starvation and disease. Nature has offered Ebola, SARS, and the virus, but nothing kills us with the necessary force. We invent vaccines and medicines and he’s out. We are hard to break.
Oddekalv’s remedy is that each country should find out how many people they can feed about 10-20 percent of food imports. Climate change with crop damage due to exposure of monocultures to food shortages. This could happen in ten years, as Oddekalv predicted in 2018. Are we really there now in 2022 here and there on Earth? The wastelands must be cultivated, food prices must rise from 11 percent of our wages to about 25 percent, and as much organic farming as possible that makes the soil sustainable for generations, was the panacea for the future, according to Odcalf.
Global sustainable development and poverty reduction are not possible with unlimited population growth and consumption-based economic growth. An environmentally sustainable population must be ensured with the help of measures from politicians. Our former Prime Minister Erna Solberg encouraged us to have more children. It was too short-sighted to motivate Norwegians to produce giant consumers of both renewable and non-renewable resources when humans really are something we have more than enough here on Earth. Politicians of the world must have a clear policy or one child.
High birth rates relate to biology, repair needs, finances, old-age insurance, culture, the status of having many children, religion, taboos against family planning, contraception and abortion.
The biologically based need for reform can be regulated by working on attitudes, public education, and accessibility for the adoption of already born children.
The economic drive to have children can be regulated through welfare benefits. Child benefits and cash benefits should be eliminated or limited to one child per family. As living standards rise, birth rates fall. In Western countries, birth rates are relatively low, from 1.5 to 2.2. For example, second generation Pakistanis in Norway have low birth rates as the rest of the population, while first generation have much higher numbers of births for their children.
Culture is deeply ingrained in us, but we see from the example of the Pakistani-Norwegians that we are influential in the cultural context in which we are. Here, too, changes in attitudes will be brought about through the dissemination of knowledge, the increase of women’s rights, and the inclusion of women in working life.
Religious taboos, laws, and negative attitudes toward abortion and contraception are oppressive to women. These attitudes must also change with knowledge and behavioral action. Contraceptives should be easily accessible and should be cheap or free.
Politicians should focus on the links between overpopulation, nature and the climate crisis. If our politicians do not take quick action on this matter, address the issue and develop a clear plan of action for all countries of the world, disaster is imminent. I imagine the ’90s Blade Runner, a dystopian movie about a desert and a globe like savannah, characterized by drought, lack of food and water and where all nature and all of the planet’s resources are exhausted and destroyed. The world of science fiction 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 seriously, not encourage us to have more children.
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