A. With over seven billion people living on planet earth, curbing the human population is an extremely prevalent issue. The human population is projected to reach 9.2 billion by 2050, and as the number of people increases so will the competition for resources (1). The inescapable result of these resource shortages will be for starvation to increase especially for those living in the third world. The human population will be forced to suffer a dieback as millions of people, many of them, children perish due to starvation. This shortage of basic necessities will very likely lead to war. Power conflicts and self-interest will perhaps mean that there will be gross violation of basic rights and death or misery for millions of innocent people. These wars will only cause a vicious cycle as precious resources are wasted in fighting. In addition, billions more people on the earth will cause disease to spread faster. Due to inflation and shortages medicine and vaccines may be unavailable causing people to die from preventable diseases. Not curbing the population will undoubtedly lead to serious environmental issues. The earth most likely cannot support 2 more billion people, especially if we continue to live the way that we do. Adding more people to the earth will put a tremendous strain on the environment as more fossils fuels are burned and natural resources destroyed. Eventually, we will run out of the fossil fuels we depend so fiercely on for energy, leading to more hunger and starvation. Not only this but burning more and more fossil fuels will cause global warming to increase leading the EARTH closer to a state in which humans cannot survive.
B. The many differing views on family planning make it extremely difficult to attempt to stop population growth. Many religions around the world are against abortion and some do not support family planning of any form. Fundamental Christians do not support in abortion citing the sixth commandment “though shall not kill” and Jeremiah1:4-5 which says that the Lord had known Jeremiah even before he was in his mother’s womb. Although most Protestant Christians are not against birth control, their opposition to abortions may hinder attempts to make it legal worldwide. Catholicism takes an even stronger view forbidding abortion and family planning of any kind. Islamic people generally support no birth control what so ever. They believe that Allah values life and they should not try and stop life. They are particularly against abortion citing Qur'an 17:31 which says not to kill their children for God will provide for them. The views of both Islam and Catholicism provide an extreme road block for trying to solve the problem of population growth as they refuse to use any family planning. Orthodox Judaism supports abortion only in rare cases in which the mother is in danger. However reforms Jews are more lenient on the topic. More liberal people tend to support a woman’s right to choose whether or not she has an abortion, saying a woman has a right to do what she wishes with her own body.. The Unitarian Universalist Church also strongly supports abortions right. These views are helpful in giving people access to birth control and abortions.
C. Despite these differences in opinion, there are steps that can be taken to curb human population growth. First we could make contraceptives much more accessible and inexpensive in developing countries. In America specifically we could make condoms available at school. Another way to curb population growth would be to put family planning education centers in developing countries in order to educate people on how to plan how many children they wish to have. Another option would be to make abortion legal and relatively cheap in all countries. We could also increase education programs for women in developing countries giving them less of an incentive to have children. In addition we could give women a chance to work outside the home by providing women with small business loans. Another option would be to give aid to developing countries in an attempt to decrease poverty. Along with this, we could vaccinate children in developing countries so they have a higher chance of living, giving their parents less of a reason to have a “back up children.” One option would be to subsidize old age in the form of pensions and social security so people do not feel that they need to have children to protect then in old age. We can also use government incentives such as tax break etc. to encourage people to have few children. Governments can further encourage the trend by funding education projects to inform the populace about the costs of raising more than a set number of children
D. My plan to curb population growth would be to make contraceptives universally available and very inexpensive in developing countries. I would also endorse education programs in developing countries which could make both men and women knowledgeable of the family planning options available to them. Making birth control AVAILABLE does not infringe upon the beliefs of any religion, and those who do not believe in birth control do not have to make use of it. I would also advocate attempting to raise the status of women in developing countries through education programs. We could also give women small business loans in hope to provide them with jobs outside the home raise their status. I believe that educating women is one the most significant things that can be done in helping to lower population growth rate. Although this plan would not eliminate population growth I believe that it can slow it.
Age Structure Diagram of Rapid Growth vs. Slow Growth Countries
U.N. Projected Population Growth by 2100