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I'll just take the first paragraph of this one. When I was born, the population of the United States was just over 130 million. There were vistas upon vistas of expansive beauty, the mountains, the deserts, the endless beaches were untrammeled and glorious.

I was born in the city of Long Beach, California and as a young teenager I could ride my bike back from a night of fishing in the summer at 1:00 in the morning and have no fear for my safety. Now in that same city a young teenager isn't even safe on the street in the daytime. The streets were clean. Now they're filthy.

There were no freeways because there was no need for them. There was no air pollution. There was no talk or fear of global warming. There were no ecological disasters happening, no rain forests disappearing, no natural resources being threatened. Gasoline was cheap, wages were good, unemployment was only for those who refused to work. Traffic jams and gridlock were unheard of.

Now there are far too many people on the planet. Virtually all the problems Earth has are due to overpopulation, from all the disappearing species including many food species, to the very real, sorry if you disagree with the valid evidence, increase in global warming, the paving over of vast tracts of farmland into housing developments, pollution of all sorts, lack of clean water supplies, overcrowding, traffic jams.

The world is in a mess because there are way too many humans on it. All the natural beauty is being stripped away. The Mojave desert, for example, once a vast, wide-open land, is now wall to wall homes and all the native animal species and many plant species are extinct, and that's just one small spot on the planet. The California coast, that I remember being dotted with small towns separated by miles of open land, is now one continuous city from Santa Barbara all the way to the Tiajuana border, a distance of nearly 300 miles. A 300 mile long city.

I don't hold human life as sacred. I hold the quality of life for all living things as sacred. The more people there are, the more the quality of life, not just for humans but for all the other creatures we share this planet with, is degraded.

What this planet needs is a plague that wipes out nine-tenths of humanity, and we'll get one, too. Overpopulation of any species always results in disease drastically reducing its numbers. It's our turn.



Rastaman yodelled:

"...to the very real, sorry if you disagree with the valid evidence, increase in global warming,..."

I have no problem with the very real evidence that the earth has been both COLDER AND WARMER than it is now and it will be so many more times with or without the pygmy human contribution.

Anything else intelligent you have to say??


Mini Me

Borat is so funny. I can't wait to see his movie.

Solid Surfer


I have to disagree with you on this one. America, and the world at large, is much better off materially and economically than it was when the U.S. population was 130 million. More of the world's population than ever is wealthy, educated, well-fed, democratic, at peace, etc. (This may not be well known, since the news media never discusses good news, but it's factually true).

Yes, there are challenges to having a larger population, but it has also given us the benefits of that much more human ingenuity, which has raised the quality of life for all of us.

As an old farming proverb goes, "Each extra mouth comes attached to two extra hands."


Solid Surfer,

I don't agree with Rastaman here but I don't agree with you either. You talk up US population growth and say it's no big deal due to low population density. Two problems with this. 1. US citizens consume far, far, far more resources than those in China, India, and just about everywhere else. Thus, 300 million Americans are tantamount to, say, 800 million Europeans, 2 billion Vietnamese or e.g. 5 billion Nicaraguans. We're putting a tremendous strain on the planet, and while I don't like Rastaman's proposals for "solutions," he does have a point-- the US consumer puts enormous ecological strain on the planet, and we have to be realistic about this.

2. Only a fraction of the US land, probably less than half, is actually habitable. Out West where I live, the cities are basically oases in enormous stretches of desert-- likewise, enormous portions of the Great Plains, Alaska and elsewhere just aren't places where people can realistically live. That's why places in California, New Jersey, New York and elsewhere seem so full of trash and so densely populated-- because they are. The US actually has a high population density *in the regions that can actually be populated*.

Remember, the US already has to import 11 million barrels a day as it is, and as our population grows, this will get much, much worse. This is what's embroiling us in the Middle East, making us more reliant on Mideast oil, and generally pushing the government to cut back on our civil liberties. IOW, we'd probably gain from curbing population growth a bit. We have to stabilize our population at some point, and this is probably a decent place to do it.


One more thing too-- I strongly take issue with your characterization of Japan and Europe as stagnant places. Most of the population growth I've seen in the US hasn't led to dynamism-- it's led to more crime, clogging traffic, worsening health, overcrowding, and bigger strains on social services. Remember, Businessweek recently noted that almost all US economic growth in the past 6 years has been in services to care for the social problems that have resulted from this population boost.

Conversely, Europe and Japan have something that the US does not, and likely will never have again-- a booming manufacturing sector. Those countries actually produce things, whereas we have a rentier economy in the USA. Their apparent "doldrums" lately are likely just a minor correction in growth that will correct itself over time-- remember, Europe and Japan in recent decades were high-growth in comparison to the US laggard. IOW, I suspect that we may be the hare here, while Europe and Japan may be the tortoises with better prospects for long-term success.

Solid Surfer


Thanks for the comments. The problems you mention certainly do exist to a degree, but they aren't as bad as I think you're making them out to be.

The U.S. indeed has a booming manufacturing sector. It's not as large a component of our GDP as it once was (due to the growth of service businesses), but it's still the largest in the world. Furthermore America also has the highest per-capita standard of living in the world, and it keeps growing. In the past 40 or so years, the time it's taken our population to grow from 200 million to 300 million (a 50% increase), our per-capita GDP has increased four times as much - by something like 200% (I can't remember the exact number, but it's something like that; I read it in a news article recently). During that same time period, meanwhile, health and life expectency has continued to rise, while crime has greatly decreased. Population growth has indeed led to dynamism.

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