CHINAS RESPONSE TO OVERPOPULATION
Length: 1050 words (3 double-spaced pages)
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Today so many children and people in the world suffer from poverty and starvation. In so many third world country's families are going without food or good water. Never before have we seen so many children die before the age of five. It is impossible to feed all of these mouths and clothe all of these backs. The world is full of natural resources at our disposal. These resources are taken for granted and not preserved the way they should be. As a result, fossil fuels will not be available in a matter of years. Nature is missing links due to the extinction of many species, many we don't ever get a chance to learn about. More people means more products made in factories, more jobs needed, and more consumption of this earth's precious resources. Were are overcrowded! We are overpopulated. Not to mention all of the disease that is spread through the poverty stricken slums that the malnourished live in."We are already living with the consequences of human population growth. There are now so many people, that we were probably pretty much forced to modernize and give up smelly outhouses in favor of the more convenient and practical flush toilet. Sanitation workers are paid to collect the trash that huge cities of people generate, as large populations need proper sanitation."(Garrett Hardin) We try to regulate this epidemic by using birth-control and other devices, but we see what good all of that is doing. We ourselves are setting up for extinction. There must be a way to control the overpopulation. We should not be a disease to this planet. Do we not see the connections between science and society!? Gaylord Nelson was quoted as saying, "The number one environmental problem facing the earth today would have to be population. Where on Earth Are We Going? He said the answer is: "It's all up to us. The level of human population and the scale and intensity of human activity has reached a point where we are literally affecting the very conditions on which human life and well being depend. "The first major effect of overpopulation is consumption of valuable resources. This is one of the major causes of depletion of our natural resources. When mentioning consumption, we are referring to all the products we buy and use. In the United States, Americans consume far more than what is necessary.
The more people there are on the planet, the more people we have to feed. However, food is not the only product that we consume. We consume everyday products such as wood for paper, gasoline for cars, and even water to flush the toilets. Sometimes people do these everyday activities without thinking how it affects our planet."(Alexandra Paul) Our future depends on how well we manage these processes. We're not doing it well at the moment."(cnn.com) Do we not see the devostation and collapse of society if nothing is going to be changed!! The Chinese think they have a solution.
In 1979, due to population overload, China created a one-child law. This law states that a married couple can only have one offspring. This simple law would cut its population in half. Two humans making one. This idea seems brilliant. On the contrary many religious couples found this to be an inhumane attempt, leading to a huge resistance. This law also lead to the missing female babies in China. Many families wanted males to carry out the family name. Having a girl was almost a dead end for these families. Big wigs like Ted Turner and other advocates try and spread the knowledge and word of this law to the Western world. Turner advocated a one-child policy, which he says will reduce the world's population from 6 billion to 2 billion, if it is practiced for the next 100 years. He believes that world overpopulation carries a number of evils, including environmental degradation. This issue was a headliner for the News Week International and actually made the front page! The article stated that the fertility rates had decreased in the past ten years due to families having one child.In Europe 1.46 children per woman during her lifetime (from 1.72); 2.54 in Asia (from 3); and 2.3 in Brazil (from the 6.3 rate 40 years ago). More dramatically, the current fertility rate of 5.74 children per woman in the 48 least developed countries is expected to fall to 2.51 by 2050. However, the single-child trend has not reached the poorest developing countries, and by 2050, 9 out of 10 people will live in a developing country. Hopefully because of this press and discussion many people will be further educated on the problem at hand. We in the USA are beginning to realize the need for a serious act also. An April 22 editorial in the Rocky Mountain News (CO) stated that although the situations have improved for U.S. drinking water, air quality and forests, there is unprecedented population growth happening in developing countries and the loss of irreplaceable species because of human encroachment.
Maybe, just maybe the western world will instill these same laws; Its highly unlikley. Eventhough we see that the fertility rates have dropped in the past ten years. This is not good enough for the United States to adopt. Unless we educate and teach about the consequences of overpopulation, who will really care and notice? It is comforting that there was a way for the Chinese and many third world countries to help solve their problem. Now what about us the US? How many people can fit in this world that we live in, and how poor the living conditions until we all wipe ourselves out!? It is a question of time and responsibility. Who can we turn to ..our President???? Maybe if we as a society could see the interplay between the scientific discipline of biology and these elements of society that the solution will take flight.
Internet web sites
http://www.qis.net/chinalaw/search1.htm- China laws
one child law
www.overpopulation.com, article china 1 child law
www.cnn.com- Ted Turner speaks about 1 child law
www.alexandriapaul.com- work on overpopulation
The News Week International-"The Rise of the Only Child around the Globe"
The New York Times- article on Global population
Rocky Mountain News (CO) editorial on "Worlds Earth Day"