Our population problem
In my experience, the person dropping this bomb usually walks away immediately, allowing no further discussion. Often there is an underlying assumption that population reduction must necessarily involve eugenics or other repugnant methods, but this is not so. And, for some, reducing population lands like an impossible task.
Certainly, reducing overpopulation is neither easy nor quick. But it is way easier than trying to reduce overconsumption. Advocates of overconsumption never address this point. And, in any case, far and away the most effective way of reducing one’s personal carbon footprint is to have fewer children.
It seems to me that overpopulation naysayers have a particularly anthropocentric view. In my experience, people who engage with nature generally recognise we are overpopulated. But overpopulation is still clear from a purely anthropocentric stance.
Many people support the goal of eradicating poverty, but very few give the matter further thought. Often, they do not even know how poverty is defined.
The World Bank defines three levels of poverty, reporting that in 2017: 689 million people lived in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day; 1.8 billion lived on less than $3.20 a day; and 43 per cent of global population lived on less than $5.50 a day. That is about 3.3 billion people. $5.50 a day translates to about US$2000 per annum. Can you imagine living on that?
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