The Population Solution



Question...
1. Most people assume that human numbers will stabilize at some point in the future. Discuss the conditions which can contribute to the solution of the population explosion.
- The Population Solution -

"Let us suppose that the average human being weighs 60 kilogram\'s. If that\'s the case then 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 people would weigh as much as the whole Earth does. That number of people is 30,000,000,000,000 times as many people as there are living today. It may seem to you that the population can go up a long, long time before it reaches the point where there are 30,000,000,000,000 times as many people as there are today. Let\'s think about that though. Let us suppose that the population growth rate stays at 2.0 per cent so that the number of people in the world continues to double every 35 years. How long, then, will it take for the world\'s population to weigh as much as the entire planet? The answer is - not quite 1,600 years. This means that by 3550 AD, the human population would weight as much as the entire planet.... Even if that were possible, it wouldn\'t give us much time. If the growth-rate stays at 2.0 per cent, then in a little over 2,200 years - say, by 4220 AD - the human population would weigh as much as the entire Solar system, including the Sun... and by about 6700 AD - the human population would weigh as much as the entire Universe." The preceding paragraph, by Isaac Asimov describes quite alarmingly just how bad the population problem really is, that in considerably less time that has passed since the days of Julius Caesar the population will equal in mass of that of the earth. Most people assume that human numbers will stabilize at some point in the future. Hopefully it will, but not without conditions that will contribute to the solution of the population explosion, conditions which include education, birth control methods and government action.

Although not the largest in terms of population size, Kenya has one of the highest rates natural increase in the world. This rapid growth rate, which is predicted to reach 120 million by the year 2050, is primarily due to high birthrates and low death rates. Alarmingly, more than half of its population is under the age of 15. This is partly due to the fact that before western influence, health care was relatively poor and families needed to be large in order to guarantee the survival of at least a couple of children to take care of both the land and the elderly. Presently, with much improved health care and substantially lower infant mortality rates, Kenyans are still opting for large family sizes, an average of 8 children per family. This is where education can inform Kenyans and citizens of other countries facing similar problems that large families are no longer necessary to ensure survival. There are also some serious problems that come with educating completely different cultures. For example, Kenyan men believe that if you do not have a large family and many male offspring, you are not considered a man. Also, many cultures promote large family sizes to ensure security and military status. Some may even reject education for the fear that it is a continuing form of colonialism or imperialism and that western attempts to reduce Third World populations is backed up by racist rational. These problems could be overcome by exposing children at a young age in their schools with material promoting small family sizes. The education of adults can also contribute to reducing the population explosion, mainly with the education of women. In most third world countries, the woman\'s job is to take care of the children, but when educated, most will want to pursue other lifestyles such as a career instead of adding to the population problem. Another form of education that can contribute to the population problem is to educated both men and women on the use of contraceptives or birth control.

Even though statistics say that the world is headed towards a disastrously increasing overuse of precious resources because of its increasing population, many still stand against the use of contraceptives and other forms of birth control. Even those educated on the population problem regard