In 2100 the population of the world will be 11 billion people and growing. How will the world feed so many people? Will there be jobs available for so many people? Will there be sufficient healthcare for all these people? Will resources be available for each to live a decent life? Will there be more conflicts and crimes and perhaps even a World War 3 as a result? How should we respond to the growing population?
Whatever other views may be, I maintain that a growing population is not always a bad thing. In fact, it can indicate that things are going well. Things such as decline in death rate, better medical facilities and poverty eradication can cause populations to grow. It could indicate that humanity is thriving. Indeed, in nature life blossoms and multiplies rapidly, flourishes, and meets and exceeds the threescore and ten years when there is an abundance of resource. The Book says “Be fruitful and multiply…” and so there can never be too many people. (If planet Earth can’t hold us, then we find some way to colonize other planets and eventually the universe. I will say more about this in part two of this topic.). But I do agree though, that problems could and will develop for a growing population when the resources are being depleted faster than how they are replaced (though the growing population itself is not the problem). It is more a problem with resources. So in my book, there is no problem called overpopulation, but rather inadequate resources.
What am I saying? I am saying adequate resources limit problems and challenges that come with a growing population. However, if Mother Earth replenishes the resources at 1% annually and humans use it at 3% bi-annually (hypothetically speaking) then there should be cause for concern. Should there be a cause for concern in the world today? As long as the issue is not being addressed, it is a problem. A growing population cannot be sustained with diminishing resources. A solution must therefore be found to obtain the necessary resources to meet the needs (and wants) of the growing population. So again I say, it is more a resource problem than a population problem.
Some might say (but I hope not) deny “them” (whoever “them” might be) the good things which cause populations to grow and the problem will be solved. Some may ask (God forbid), “What contributions are “they” making any way? Aren’t they only taking up space?” To this I say a big NO. I say no. I say no because I affirm the sacredness of human life and agree that “Thou shall not kill/murder”. A solution must be found without having to get rid of “them”. “They” are people too. How are they different from anyone else? When you cut them do you not see red also? When you hug them do you not feel a heartbeat also?
When things become difficult in the business world, the first thought for some business owners is to cut expenditure. They often fail to see that there is the other option of increasing income. If they can think creatively they will be able to find some means and ways to up their income. I am no economist but I recommend looking into new potential resources through creative, non-linear thinking. We need to stop thinking in the way that we always do. There is a strategy in the business world called “The Blue Ocean Strategy” which encourages a new kind of thinking. Basically it posits that rather than competing with other businesses in the “red ocean” (red because that part of the ocean is filled with blood shed from all the competition), one should move away into other parts of the ocean, so to speak, and create new markets where there is no competition. Competition is irrelevant in the Blue Ocean market strategy. I believe that this kind of thinking is exactly what is needed to solve the resource problem for the growing population.
Perhaps a solution may call for synthetic food to feed the population and artificial islands (as was done by the Aztecs) or living underground or extending into outer space to maximize farming and housing space. Maybe philosophers, theologians and planetary humanists should be helping people to evolve beyond that resource whose love of it is the root of all evil. Probably the techno gods should be developing gadgets which can contribute to a solution rather than spending time looking how to improves cell phones and ipads. Physicists could/should be doing what Tony Stark (Iron Man) did and try to create that new ultron element that can produce inexhaustible energy rather than developing military technologies. Whatever the solution may be, something must be done. We must have the resources in place.
I am no mastermind when it comes to these things but I believe that if it is possible, then dar um jeito (we will find a way). We need to open our minds. We cannot wait until we get to this bridge to cross it. 2100 is coming and it will not delay.We must come together to find a way. United Nations please put solutions for resource problems facing the growing population at the top of your sustainable development agenda.
Let me know what you think.
St Bryan Stone (Philosopher/Theologian/ Christocentric Humanist)