Overpopulation, Is It A Disaster, Or Not?

A fierce debate rages between people who believe our planet is overpopulated, and people who think it is not.

Image for post
Image for post
Most large cities are overcrowded, Christyl Rivers

Will the population bomb explode or not?

Most projections agree that population may well grow to ten billion by 2050. For those who say that’s okay, they often contend that food production and innovation will meet the need. They see, correctly, that it’s not a lack of space, or technical inability to feel more mouths, but merely a food distribution problem. We throw away enough food to feed everyone, and most of the Earth’s surface is still empty.
They also point to the fact, also true, that in every nation that has economic opportunity and race, and gender equality (or approaches it) has a falling birthrate.

Too many people? Or too much doom and gloom?

How can statistics tell one story: that our sheer numbers are within a carrying capacity, and our physical experience of the world tell a whole other story?

Capitalism and colonialism

Famously, some people don’t want refugees, or migrants, from impoverished, war torn, or crisis driven events from S-hole, (let’s say “S” as in Suffering” countries as that’s what these countries typically are). Similarly, and coincidentally, these same people don’t want to curb their intake of meat, fossil fuels, luxuries, and most especially, the convenience of wasteful living. Entitlement is something that follows centuries of colonialism, and it is far too entrenched for many people to even recognize it, much less worry about it.

Overpopulation is not a concern until it affects you

If everyone has equal access to opportunity, choice, food, water, healthcare, and uncrowded living conditions, I would say overpopulation is not a concern. But, any glance at any news tells us this is not the situation. This has never been more true than it is now in the Sixth Extinction epoch of the Anthropocene. We need the natural world to survive.

Written by

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store