The human population on earth is growing out of control. The effects of this growth can be seen with our growing demand for resources and the environmental effects of using them at an increasing rate. The most frightening part about our population growth is that its has an exponential character meaning that every year it grows at a faster rate than the previous. The UN World Watch releases population reports every year showing a range of predictions that our growth will take but all of them show increases with a low chance of levelling off anytime soon. The idea that our population will expand beyond our technological capabilities is becoming real and intervention needs to happen fast before its too late. Luckily there are many ethical and non invasive methods that can help overcome this problem. If implemented correctly, we can reduce many issues we face today including,poverty, food shortages, climate change and quality of life.
One of the most commonly known population growth controls is China’s one child policy. This was enacted in 1979 with the intention to reduce the social and environmental problems within China. This method is very effective and credited to have prevented 400 million births. This method is however subject to many ethical issues as the penalty for failing to abide by the law is a fine. Often, families who are poor and less educated are the ones burdened with higher birthrates. An additional child, matched with a heavy fine could result in very poor living conditions and a drive to terminate pregnancy in an unethical and dangerous way.
Video from: Thomson Reuters Foundation
To control our population growth in a more ethical and effective way we must go beyond the birth process and target the actions leading up to it. It is known that sex education systems and contraceptive resources have helped control birthrates while avoiding to harm or interfere with peoples lives. The education and empowerment that comes from these systems helps both women and men make educated and wise decisions regarding their sex life and ultimately avoid unintended births which help further decrease population growth.
Ted Talk by Mechai Viravaidya.
Another effective way at controlling population growth is the empowerment and equalizing of both male and female rights and opportunities. Part of the reason why more developed and equal countries have lower population growth rates is because women are attending school at the same rate as men and given the same work opportunities delaying marriage and often childbirth.
Despite the looming dangers of our population growth on earth there is still room for improvement and the capabilities of controlling population growth in an effective and ethical way can have large effects on the stability and endurance of the human race.