Why you should care
Because we all share a finite planet.
Last week, we asked: Should countries enforce population control? You answered, and here are your thoughts, edited for clarity.
Lisa Eileen Laughton
This is not a yes-no question. Yes, there are too many people in the world. No, the government should not employ punitive measures to enforce birth control. The idea that reproduction is a right is flawed when the means to raise healthy children are nonexistent. However, a serious and unrelenting education program could certainly work. The more people know, the better off everyone becomes.
Jeff Bloom, Phoenix
Worldwide education plus free birth control should be the first approach. If that doesn’t work, we may have to use government control (possibly taxation strategies). If not, the biosphere will make adjustments, which may include starvation, massive ecosystem collapse, dehydration, epidemics, worldwide social collapse and warfare … in other words, human extinction.
Scott Bentley, Apple Valley, California
Oh my, yes! Your government should be the one to choose who can have a child — and even specify race and sex and body type, etc. Maybe even have a quota system for transgender and gay people? Sounds just like what any modern government would love. Noblesse oblige! Or was that droit du seigneur?
Overpopulation is a myth pushed by the wealthy elites. The most developed nations are the biggest wasters of our planet’s resources, not poor nations.
Kitty Carlisle, Sedona, Arizona
Absolutely — population control should be enforced. If you cannot afford to feed yourself, bringing children into the world is a no-no.
Don Wood, Urich, Missouri
Overpopulation? Have any of you ever driven through Canada, or looked at the maps that show how much land our government owns or “manages”? All that’s needed is to re-create small farms and teach people how to grow and harvest foods.
Rebecah Propst, Sidney, Nebraska
Overpopulation is the fundamental cause of most of the problems the world faces today. We are using resources much faster than the Earth can sustainably provide. For example, according to World Population Balance, “global aquifers are being pumped 3.5 times faster than rainfall can naturally recharge them. Topsoil is being lost 10 to 40 times faster than it is formed … and oceans are overfished.” If we do not immediately take steps to decrease the world’s population, soon we will not have a choice. Overpopulation will eventually eliminate the human race. I just hope it doesn’t kill every other species on our planet as well.
Ken Whitley, Bellingham, Washington
Fix the economy and give women power over birth control, and the population controls itself. We’ve known this for nearly a century now, and have occasionally even acted on it.
Gerald Maynes, Middletown, Delaware
Read the Bill of Rights. It’s not up to our government to dictate to us how many children we can have.
Deanne Sandu, Portland, Oregon
Yes to population control! I’d love to see all sterilized at birth. After passing a rigorous test, they get fixed and go for it. Oh, and in my dream world, parents must provide financial proof that they can afford the kid.
The state should not decide who gets to give birth. Folks like Bill Gates, who is hoarding so much wealth, like to think they know what’s best for the rest of us.
Damaris Castillo, San Diego
The world isn’t overpopulated — cities are. I live in the country, and I hardly have neighbors. Get on a plane, look out the window and look down.
The problem isn’t sheer numbers so much as the global distribution of resources. If there were, theoretically, a mechanism by which everyone could reasonably subsist (no runaway globalization and consumerism), overpopulation wouldn’t be an issue. We just produce and waste too much to sustain these numbers.
Richard Knechel, Lambertville, New Jersey
YES. It would most likely lead to a world war, but that in itself would reduce the population some degree. However, if we don’t, then nature will do it for us. The planet’s resources are finite, so be it a plague or some type of environmental catastrophe, the population will be reduced. But then again, we could be living in a multiverse, or be part of some cosmic experiment gone wrong, so who cares! (Just kidding.)