Thursday, May 13, 2010

Too Many Cooks...

There were a lot things floating through my mind when I was pondering if I wanted to have children, including the standbys of "do I want to be a father" or "will I be able to provide for them." One reason against having kids, lying in the background, was the question of if it made sense to bring a kid into a world that may not be able to support him.

What I mean by that is that all signs are pointing toward overpopulation being a major problem. Mother Jones reports from India, where overpopulation is a huge problem. A sample:
As recently as 1965, when the world population stood at 3.3 billion, we collectively taxed only 70 percent of the Earth's biocapacity each year. That is, we used only 7/10 of the land, water, and air the planet could regenerate or repair yearly to produce what we consumed and to absorb our greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Global Footprint Network, a California think tank, we first overdrew our accounts in 1983, when our population of nearly 4.7 billion began to consume natural resources faster than they could be replenished—a phenomenon called "ecological overshoot." Last year, 6.8 billion of us consumed the renewable resources of 1.4 Earths. ...
The only known solution to ecological overshoot is to decelerate our population growth faster than it's decelerating now and eventually reverse it—at the same time we slow and eventually reverse the rate at which we consume the planet's resources. Success in these twin endeavors will crack our most pressing global issues: climate change, food scarcity, water supplies, immigration, health care, biodiversity loss, even war.

I decided to have children, mainly because - as cheesy as this sounds - I wanted to experience the cycle of life from its beginning, and grow up all over again with my sons. However, it's sobering to realize that my kids standard of living will most likely be much less then mine - and we're the lucky ones!

1 comment:

donotlean said...

I don't know if the numbers/estimates are correct (how in the world does one go about figuring that out) but regardless the real numbers I agree and felt the same way about the premise. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know that eventually this is/will-be happening.