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Should governments limit population growth? - Page 2

post #31 of 60
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by nitedreamer:

I guess how our population eventually levels off will probably depend on what causes the level off- something drastic like famine, war, and disease, or something we choose ourselves, like limiting our reproduction.


I'm curious in the deer graph what happened to cause such a sharp decline?  I can't quite make out what the two different lines represent, but they also seem to be re-growing at a slower rate than they were before the drop.


Taken from a deer survey exercise from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in Pennsylvania:


Populations of deer beyond the carrying capacity of the land causes an unbalanced ecosystem that is skewed in the direction of one species, the deer. Even the deer begin to suffer because of overpopulation and food shortages. This leads to a decline in the general health of the deer population often causing disease and starvation.


That results in a significant decline in the population.  In the deer survey on Presque Isle, the population steadily grew from 60 deer to 160 between 1987 and 1990.  In 1991, it fell to 110 and 1992 crashed even further to 61. 


This also comes from the exercise: "The Penn State University’s Deer Nutrition Research Team in 1992, concluded that the available habitat on Presque Isle State Park cannot support more than 16-20 deer without seriously jeopardizing woody plants, including vegetation to control dune and sand erosion."

post #32 of 60
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by nitedreamer:

I know there are places that do give them out for free, but they aren't convenient.  It's not like you regularly stop into a DHEC office, or Planned Parenthood.  I think they need to be available at a lot more locations. 


As for convenient condoms....a few years back I read an article about a campagin in the Netherlands (I think) where they put free condom dispensers on the street.  I can't find that picture (or article) but here are some handy (pay) condom dispensers from around the world...


[Found on flickr, courtesy of slgr]


[credit: UK Canuck]


[credit: Jing Wu]

post #33 of 60

Thanks for the dispenser photos- it makes me laugh, because I was thinking about condom dispensers on the street, the same way you see free papers (The Onion, local what's happening papers, etc).  I was picturing something like:


The ones you posted remind me of ATM machines!


I think free (or at least very cheap- maybe .10) is important, because you want to make people not hesitate to pocket a couple for later use, and to use them every time.   Especially since  I imagine lower income couples need easier access to condoms since they are less likely to be able to afford other BC methods like the pill.


Maybe to pay for it sponsers could advertise on the wrapper packaging- that's how they pay for the free papers, right? :)



post #34 of 60

PS- I just noticed the condom with the peace sign in the first pic, and I love it- that would make a great logo!

post #35 of 60
Thread Starter 

I agree.  I think free is very important.  Low barriers to entry (inuendo unintended) is crucial.


But I also am of the opinion that we need education beyond "abstinence only."

post #36 of 60
Originally Posted by Lola:


"The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn rate is higher than any of those countries," said the annual State of the World's Mothers report.




Great article - thanks for linking it.  Don't you think that the newborn death rate is possibly related to the fact that we encourage at-risk pregnancies in this country?  Doctors do everything they can to prevent miscarriage and to help couples with fertility problems. 


Perhaps there is a reason a woman can't conceive -- should we be surprised if those babies have problems and die? 


And how many of these newborn deaths are babies born to women who are over 40?  I have friends who are now talking about having babies -- "I'm going to be 39 this year, so I want to plan to have my baby next spring."  Though there are exceptions, that's just ridiculous, to me.


A girlfriend of mine says that she plans to get her daughter an IUD as soon as she starts menstruating.  I think that is a great solution to the world population crisis - one free IUD for every first period!  That way, pregnancy really is an informed, educated choice.  Have all the sex you want and be safe -- because if you aren't that might jeopardize your ability to elect the privilege of having a child.


To me - that's a big big problem with having kids.  Too many people look at it as a right - not a privilege.  It is a huge responsibility and requires a lot of things, not the least of which is financial support.  If you can't support a kid - you shouldn't have one.  If that means low income people have fewer children -- well, those kids will be better loved (like the coupon idea).  I don't think that better educated or wealthier people will have more children (well, aside from Mormons) because the numbers are just against it.


The point is - every child should be a wanted child and a supported child.  There should be no accidental births -- that derails a young woman (and sometimes young man) in her ability to be independent, get an education and contribute to the earth (no offense to mothers vis a vis their role in educating their children in the custodianship of the planet).

post #37 of 60
Originally Posted by Jennifer:

I do think available birth control is part of the answer.  I am not sure if I agree with condoms on consumer goods.  People can get free condoms without question from their local DHEC office. 



People get free condoms in just about any bar or night club in San Francisco. 

post #38 of 60

The "Cap and Trade" baby system would never work.   If you divorce and don't have kids, who gets the ticket?  Goodness, I can think of about a zillion crazy scenarios with this issue!  In China you can have as many kids as you want, you just have to pay a tax for each one after the first.  Maybe that system would work better.  Hmm, a condom for $1 (what do they cost now?  Married for too long! - read into that what you will!) or $500 in taxes a year until the child is 18 years old (or whatever it is).


The other side of this is not just more people being born, but people living longer.  At some point there is going to be a cure for almost everything.  This about what the population would be if everyone who has cancer was cured?  If everyone with heart disease was found and cured?  Maybe we need to have crystals put on our palms and when they turn red, we can go to a "renew" center where we will float up in the air, cheered on by the public, as we are zapped.  (that would be a cool movie).



post #39 of 60

OK - just a couple points to add to all of this.  The ER "imaging" I do for a living is Ultrasound.  I work at night in a busy ER in Southern California.   A majority of the time when I scan a woman in regards to reproduction, it is not a happy situation... I have seen hundreds of miscarriages, fetal "demise" situations, ectopic pregnancies, etc.  ...basically age 13 and up for all that.


>  Most IUDs work just fine.  You can still get pregnant with an IUD - it is rare, but it happens... when you scan a fetus that has an IUD tangled with/in it, it is disturbing.

>  I have seen half a dozen women from various Latin American countries that have IUDs and have no idea it is there!  Doctors in those countries apparantly have a habit of inserting them for "the greater good" without consent  - either the family already has lots of hungry kids, or the doctor feels that area doesn't need more kids - this is illegal even in those countries, but is quite common.

>  Miscarriages are incredibly common.  Possibly more pregnancies fail, then succeed - most often quite early tho - woman may never even know it has taken place as they were just "a little late" on their period.  Most happen by 8 weeks.

>  When you have seen the direct affects of abortion - including someone who has had one, but most of the fetus is still in the uterus a week later, you start to question this practice being used for convenience.  There are times it makes sense heath wise, but IMHO unless you work in an industry that deals with it directly, you don't know what it is really about.  Woman who have them, of course, usually feel the emotional and physical effects, but some do not - they don't want to know, they just want to "end this situation".   ...not trying to preach, just stating the way it is.


Population control is a very big issue - but I personally am sticking to education being the answer.  Education of birth control options - definatly all types.  Individuals achieving higher levels of education in general.  These are steps that should lower the rate.


The US population is growing more by immigration (of all types) than birth rate.  The developing countries is where the bulk of the world population growth is taking place.  North America, Europe, and Russia are fairly flat in growth when considered together.

post #40 of 60

...oh yeah, and I agree with Stins that options for birth control should be free to "lower the barriers for entry" (that is funny wording :-)  LOL)   ...hopefully multiple options so men and women can choose what is best fit for them.


Sorry if my last post got kinda "yucky" - it's just there are many realities to things that most people keep out of mind unless they are in the medical field.


Also - there are around 100 million (yes, 100 million) orphans in this world!  Adoption is a wonderful thing...

post #41 of 60

I agree that all children should be wanted, but I shudder at the thought of IUDs being put into every young girl.  Much better to teach her about condoms, buy a box to stash in her bedroom, offer to get her fitted for a diaphragm, offer to get her the pill, the patch...and what about the boys?  Why should we be fitting young girls with IUDs when boys are at least equally responsible for these pregnancies? 


42.5% of students are having sex by grade 10, and 60.9% are having sex by grade 12 (CDC, 1998). 


86% of the recent decline in U.S. teen pregnancy rates is due to improved contraceptive use, and 14% is from teens waiting longer to start having sex (Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, 2006). 


We really need to focus on teaching our kids about safe sex.

post #42 of 60

The first IVF baby is turning 30 this month- and in honor, there have been a few online pieces about how reproduction might change over the next 30 years.


There are some pretty serious implications here for overpopulation issues-


  • pretty much eradicating infertility and making IVF available for about $100.
  • enabling people of any age to have children (even at age 100).
  • the creation of artificial wombs so that some day, it could potentially be a legal requirement that women having an abortion would have to hand the fetus over to be developed elsewhere.


The last one especially- with about 1 million abortions a year, that's a LOT of extra babies!!!  We better colonize the moon or set up Wall-E style space crafts first if that becomes law...


(PS- even without the added science, we are currently having a possible "baby boomlet"- 2007 had the most children born since 1957.)

Edited by nitedreamer - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 15:38:16 GMT
post #43 of 60

I believe that economic development naturally decreases birth rates and so do most respected economists. Sustainable global economic growth is the only answer. If you really want to see people having fewer children, give them education, careers and consequently something else to do.


With education and economic growth, religion also becomes marginalized. At some point in the near future, when South America lifts itself out of poverty though their own efforts, the Catholic Church's preaching against contraception will be as laughable as the Bush Administration's insistence on abstincence-only sex education.



PS. For what it's worth, I have also decided to stay childless

Edited by petera650 - Fri, 25 Jul 2008 17:51:19 GMT
post #44 of 60

Utlimately, however, I think our only chance of survival as a race lies in space exploration and colonization of other planets. I think it's fair to argue that we'll never solve our problems on Earth by staying on Earth, just like we didn't solve the problems of the Old World until we discovered the New World.

post #45 of 60
Originally Posted by nitedreamer:

I was joking (mostly!) about condoms and mouthwash.  I know there are places that do give them out for free, but they aren't convenient.  It's not like you regularly stop into a DHEC office, or Planned Parenthood.  I think they need to be available at a lot more locations.  

 As for the developing world- it would be nice if the Pope/other religious leaders got on board!  You hear about how in Africa, a lot of people don't want to use condoms because it's against their religion.  We need a way to spread the word about safe sex and birth control in developing countries, and missionaries would be a great way to do this.


Okay, I have to put this in here.  When my boyfriend lived in South Africa a few years back, the government did this campaign to increase condom use...except it didn't work, the newspaper apparently stapled the condoms to the paper.  The staples went right through the condom so instead, they sent millions of useless condoms to the public telling them that they wouldn't get AIDS if they used them!!!  Of course they had to do another campaign to convince people not to use the ones that were issued, which probably just confused a lot of people who were already skeptical about their use.  I guess they tried though.

post #46 of 60
Originally Posted by srj0385:


The staples went right through the condom so instead, they sent millions of useless condoms to the public telling them that they wouldn't get AIDS if they used them!!! 




This really shows the lack of understanding even at the government level about how condoms should be used for maximum efficiency.   

post #47 of 60
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by srj0385:

The staples went right through the condom so instead, they sent millions of useless condoms to the public telling them that they wouldn't get AIDS if they used them!!! 


Oh my...that's pretty unbelievable.  And unfortunately counterproductive on an educational front.

post #48 of 60

With the growing trend of male infertility, cancer, and obesity we might actually see a similar trend as the deers, a crash in newborns and alarming early deaths. Nuclear war can be a wildcard.

Edited by seattlite - Sat, 7 Feb 2009 00:40:12 UTC

Edited by seattlite - Sat, 7 Feb 2009 00:41:18 UTC

Edited by seattlite - Sat, 07 Feb 2009 15:40:16 GMT
post #49 of 60

There are so many comments I don't have time to read them all, but if no one has suggested paying people to limit their families, then that would be my suggestion. 


The best way would be to tax people who have more than one child each (not two per family, as that would mean if you want more kids just get a divorce!).


Naturally, vasectomies should be free, or -- better yet -- send the fellow a nice fat check for having had one and make him pay through the nose if he ever reverses it.





post #50 of 60

NO, this is still America so take your socialist thoughts over to China.

post #51 of 60

and this is england where we recognise a girl's right not to be forcibly married at 13 or 14 to an old man and made to bear dozens of kids.


ok sorry about that little outburst folks. but actually it does raise an important point.


the single biggest indicator of family size is the education of women. and this in turn is a good proxy for the emancipation of women, which is influenced by a variety of social factors, of which fundementalist religeon is a big one.

it could be argued that one of (if not the) main objectives in such religeon is the control of women and their fertility.


3 main factors affeecting birth rates are;


womens education

child mortality rates

availability of contraception


post #52 of 60

That's true, as countries become more developed and education level improves, population growth tends to level out on its own.  In the US it's been at around 1% per year over the past 40 years or so, but it is still growing.


A big step certainly is education and contraception.

post #53 of 60
The population of planet Earth has TRIPLED in a single lifetime.

The simple fact is that something far more drastic than most people can freely admit to would have to happen in order to redress this.

The only viable solutions that I can see, are simply either disease or war.
And yes, I hear how negative that sounds!

But try to restrain all emotions (and all 'knee jerk' reactions) for a second and simply look at the problem.

The population of the planet is currently just shy of 6.9 billion
Not a problem until you consider that the sustainable population for Earth is far, far lower than that.

Assuming the global biocapacity and average footprint [F1] remain stable at the 2003 level, then, to become sustainable, the world population needs to contract to a maximum of 5.1 billion.

  1. For a ‘modest’ world footprint of 3.3 gha/cap (without allowances for biodiversity or change of biocapacity), the sustainable population is 3.4 billion.
  2. For a ‘modest’ world footprint of 3.3 gha/cap, plus a 12% allowance for biodiversity (but none for attrition of biocapacity), the sustainable population is 3.0 billion.

    There have been numerous posts about education... if we educate people then they wont have as many children.
    There have been numerous posts about contraception... if we provide contraception then they wont have as many children.

    Surely we can all see that neither of these will work at reducing the population?
    And dont forget that that is what we need - a reduction - not a slowing down of the increase, or even a balancing out - we need to reduce the population considerably.

    People will not control themselves enough to balance out the population let alone reduce it and government intervention will do no better as the underlying focus of all governments is the economy. And for a solid economy (very broadly speaking here) you need people - the more the better.

    So we need an event beyond our control to sort things out - to redress the balance between supply and demand, popualtion and resources.

    War - horrible thought but does have a habit of thinning population numbers somewhat - but to get us to sustainable levels it would take a war 50 TIMES more bloody that WW2.
    So unless we experience a nuclear war - big ones too - there is no way it would kill enough to get us back within acceptable levels.

    Disease - would have to be virilant and fast to kill before any treatment could be found with a very short lifespan itself so it didnt kill off the entire populace.

    ONLY then could we start talking about education and contraception to keep these reduced population numbers!!!
  3. For a ‘modest’ world footprint of 3.3 gha/cap, plus a 20% margin for biodiversity and attrition of biocapacity then the sustainable population is 2.7 billion.
post #54 of 60
So what are you voting for? War? Disease? Kill your neighbor? 
post #55 of 60
I'm incapable of "restraining emotion" when discussing massive death.  Sorry.
post #56 of 60
Education is usually the most important thing in population control.

A China type of solution is not desirable or acceptable to most of us - İ don't believe it is acceptable to most Chinese either but not much the average citizen can do about it. 
post #57 of 60
The other scary part about a war scenario: I'm not sure we would want the type of people that win that war to be the type of people who continue the species...just a thought. And from an historical perspective, most wars are followed by a population boom as the government tries to replenish the ranks, so you would definitely need a certain type of system in place to prevent the same trend over and over.

Disease...hmmm....I just hope I don't wind up being stuck with Randall Flag, he had a killer smile but a terrible temper :) little Stephen King reference for you!

I think I'll cross my fingers for education. This silly country (US) can't even decide on a health care plan for the people who are already alive, I'm sure nothing short of a war would have to happen to create a birth control policy. Too many people believe birth control is evil! It will take generations to learn, though. Hope we can wait...
post #58 of 60
Originally Posted by srj0385 View Post

This silly country (US) can't even decide on a health care plan for the people who are already alive

Crazy isn't it?
post #59 of 60

i guess ur right dana1981. it's actually true its gud if everyone follows things like this we can totally change the world by then!

post #60 of 60

No, the government shouldn't limit population. Not with laws against having children. But it could be a good idea to pay a fee for the right to have a child. The fee would go towards insuring the child is taken care of no matter what happens to you.


Understand that population projections say that we will go up to 9.4 billion and then we will go down.


The real damage for sudden increases in population is when we help developing countries. A village where starvation has kept the population down. (a bad way) If they suddenly have food and success, the population will double.


The solution is to educate the women as a priority worldwide.


Best wishes.


Bob Henry Extreme Green Villages worldwide.

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