Vulgar or Inevitable? A discussion on the threat to all living things
With the increasing loss of natural resources, deforestation, general land clearing for urbanisation, industrialisation and growing population, polluted water sources, polluted air, major loss of species both plant and animal, when does a seemingly taboo issue get brought to the world table and the reality of over population, environmental loss and human survival get discussed.
Is it vulgar to say that human population must be controlled?
It seems it is for some while for others it is tradition and others it is vital.
In Africa, having many children has customarily been considered a gift of divine favor and having none, a great curse.
The Vatican insists that Roman Catholics shun artificial methods of birth control. However there are people who have decided that they do not want more than 1 or 2 children and use contraception. This is highly controversial, probably due to the fact that the human being by nature wants to do whatever it likes.
So before launching into this discussion a bit of statistical information and scientific fact is in order to provide a clear picture of exactly what we are talking about.
The worlds population is estimated at 6.93 billion and growing.
Asia accounts for over 60% of the world population with more than 4 billion people.
China and India make up approximately 37%, Africa follows with 15% being 1 billion, Europe 11%, Latin America & Caribbean 9%, Northern America 5% and Oceania 0.5%.
Of those 6.93 billion people nearly half the world's population lives in poverty -- that's 2.8 billion people live in poverty (by World Bank Standards of living on less than two dollars a day.)
There some basic needs a human being requires to live which include Water, Food, Shelter, and Fire
Approximately 71% of the earths surface is covered by continuous bodies of water - ie: oceans, seas, rivers, land blocked water bodies ie: streams, rivers, dams etc.
The total water mass is 1 400 000 000 000 000 000 metric tones - made up of approximately 97% salt water and 3% fresh water.
Of that 3% of fresh water, 54% of it is being appropriated by the world population.
70% is used for irrigation
22% is used for industry
8% is used domestically
In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply.
Every day, 2 million tons of human waste is disposed of in water courses.
Half of the world's wetlands have been lost since 1900.
Projected increases in fertilizer use for food production and in wastewater effluents over the next three decades suggest there will be a 10-20 per cent global increase in river nitrogen flows to coastal ecosystems.
Our water sources are dying.
Approximately 29% of the Earths surface is land
However, a a significant portion of the Earth's exposed land is inhabitable or cannot be used for any agricultural purpose. Large portions are extremely arid or are very mountainous.
Now take this into account:
If only the Earth's land area of 150 million km² (58 million sq. miles) is taken into account, then human population density increases to 45.3 per km² (117.2 per sq. mile). This calculation includes all continental and island land area, including Antarctica. If Antarctica is also excluded, then population density rises to 50 people per km² (129.28 per sq. mile). Considering that over half of the Earth's land mass consists of areas inhospitable to human inhabitation, such as deserts and high mountains, and that population tends to cluster around seaports and fresh water sources, population density increases to such a figure that it is nearly incalculable in some areas.
Forests cover a third of our planet's land or 9.6%
There are appoximately 25 different sorts of forests in the world.
They provide raw materials, maintain biodiversity, protect land and water resources, house millions of plant & animal species and play a role in climate change mitigation.
Forests are heavily exploited and many plant and animal species have being driven to extinction.
Rainforests are vital for our survival however experts estimate the last rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. Due to deforestation it is estimated we are losing 137 species of plant and animal per day, or 50 000 species per year. To give you an idea of how important a rainforest is:
- A single pond in Brazil can sustain a greater variety of fish than is found in all of Europe's rivers.
- A 25-acre plot of rainforest in Borneo may contain more than 700 species of trees - a number equal to the total tree diversity of North America.
- A single rainforest reserve in Peru is home to more species of birds than are found in the entire United States
- One single tree in Peru was found to harbor forty-three different species of ants - a total that approximates the entire number of ant species in the British Isles
- The number of species of fish in the Amazon exceeds the number found in the entire Atlantic Ocean
All of the different types of forests are being unsustainable cleared for urbanisation, industrialisation, product manufacturing etc, all due to human desires grown from a severe lack of environmental sustainability intellect.
Our forests are dying.
Creatures, land, sea and air are a food source for many. However is there enough in the world to sustain the human population growth.
Our Oceans & Seas
As mentioned above, water sources all over our planet are subjected to massive amounts of pollution.
But another impact is driving the marine species to extinction.
Fishing is central to the livelihood and food security of 200 million people, especially in the developing world, while one of five people on this planet depends on fish as the primary source of protein.
In the last decade, in the north Atlantic region, commercial fish populations of cod, hake, haddock and flounder have fallen by as much as 95%, prompting calls for urgent measures. Some are even recommending zero catches to allow for regeneration of stocks, much to the ire of the fishing industry.
According to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate, over 70% of the world's fish species are either fully exploited or depleted. The dramatic increase of destructive fishing techniques worldwide destroys marine mammals and entire ecosystems.
One of the most damaging of all over fishing activities is the destruction and procurement of fish nurseries, rendering marine species helpless against extinction.
Add into that the pointless desire of corporate business to build massive industrial ports in areas of vital mangrove ecosystems effectively killing massive marine nurseries and islands utilised as breeding grounds for numerous marine species.
Our food sources are dying
Every basic human survial need is under severe pressure
Water - Water pollution is abundant in every part of the world
Shelter/Fire -Forests we need for building shelter or warming ourselves are dying
Food - Animals which live in the forests, and which some people rely upon are being driven to extinction.
Land on which we need to grow our food is becoming urbanised, industrialised, salinified due to land clearing. Marine species are being driven to extinction by over fishing, polluted waters and industrialisation.
So every basic need we as humans need to survive is under severe pressure - that's smart....
By looking at this very simplified insight into the pressures on our basic needs, we now know that:
- Water pollution is abundant in every part of the world
- Forests we need for building shelter or warming ourselves are dying
- Animals which live in the forests, and which some people rely upon for food are being driven to extinction
- Land on which we need to grow our food is being destroyed
And I haven't covered the oxygen we need to survive.
We're not very intelligent are we.
However, I want to look at the effect that the human population has on species.
On the subject of human population control and threat of species survival, I have travelled to a number of places around the world and this has been my observation.
The countries which are home to the critically endangered species such as the Tiger, do not protect them.
Heavy statement isn't it.
Yes there are a lot of great people working towards 'saving the tiger' but due to obstacles such as poachers not being addressed by the law, Governments delaying permissions for protection programs, the continued loss of habitat and prey species, money being allocated incorrectly, these people trying to save the tiger, including myself, cannot do much at all.
There is only one reason the Tiger is still alive, and that is because the Tiger is a survival specialist. It is a testament to this great cat's skill that it pushes itself to survive the impossible threats against it.
The Tiger has to be one of the most persecuted creatures on earth. Poachers want it for money, Tourism relys on it for Money, Corrupt persons in authority turn a blind eye for money, money money money. If ever a new species of Tiger is found they should name it Panthera tigris money....
As an example, I am absolutely amazed that the Bengal Tiger even exists.
The Bengal's are now limited to 'island' forests meaning that they are limited to National Parks, and those National Parks have a mass human population right up to the park borders and the mass is increasing. There is huge poverty, unemployment, little education and near non existent medical care, but still the population is growing unabated.
Just recently a Bengal Tiger left its home in the wild and walked through a busy city about 200km until it decided to make its home in a public wildlife park. It just picked itself up and left its wild home and put itself inside a fenced area.
Why did it do that?
In some areas of India, National Parks are not your usual quiet national park.
I personally witnessed the onslaught of disturbance these creatures are subjected to in their wild homes, by humans. Not only is the human population biting at the heels of the national park land to be let in, some are already in there and won't get out.
Villagers living inside the buffer zones of national parks are susceptible to attacks and it happens. However they are well aware of the dangers, some are excepting if their death comes in the form of a Tiger or Leopard. These villagers respect the land and have a very spiritual connection to it and do not wish harm upon the animals and environment.
But there are some villagers that deliberately hunt well inside 'no trespass, no hunting' who also are well aware of the dangers.
In a lot of these cases if a Tiger or other animal attacks the villager, the animal is murdered in such brutal ways that the only explanation is violent psychotic behaviour. The troubling thing is that this behavior is not carried out by 1 person; it is carried out by 300 villagers all at once on 1 animal.
But why are they in the protected forest in the first place? Originally they probably lived there. But with their own population growth inside the national park the need to seek more food sources to feed their ever expanding families causing them to seek the predators prey. Hence, a lot of human/animal conflict.
Then if the forests are emptied of the predators prey species, where and what do the predators hunt? Again, as a survival specialist they will find a food source. Sometimes that is a human.
If we have a look at the tourism of these national parks a whole other scenario is playing out. Vile intrusions occur inside of national parks that are so disrespectful, its like watching drunken hooligans at a footy match. I watched appalled as one lone Tiger tried to rest in the shade from the blistering heat only to end up being the centre point of a traffic jam with wild, loud, unsafe humans revving the engines of their vehicles, walking around within 1 bound reach of this mighty wild predator and screaming out at the Tiger, which was 10 metres away.
So my first opinion on Human population control - In the case of tourism, the human population must be controlled.
But that's not quite the same as real human population control is it. The ceasing of breeding, the vulgar thing to suggest or talk about.
We humans seem to think that we can continue to gobble up every ounce of our natural resources and our basic human survival needs and keep on breeding like rabbits as if there is some never ending pot of gold for us all.
We have all watched the severe sorrow and tragedy experienced from famine. Where the faces of under nourished adults and children flicker across the world media, and the need for basic human survival needs were gone. And in the midst of all of this, humans in these severely hit places continued to give birth.
Yes, some people believe that they need to have children so they can be sent out to work. I understand that, however it is not making the situation better, in fact it is damning new lives to a life of misery.
Let me give you an example - If you were living in poverty, no matter what country you were living in, and you already had 3 children. You couldn't keep food on your table and you all often starved. You couldn't buy clothes and you didn't have a house. What would you do?
Its a terribly sad situation, shockingly so.
If you were a leader of a country and you saw these terribly sad things occurring in your country, what would you do?
Is addressing human population so taboo that leaders are more willing to allow their country, people, and natural resources to be dried up until the country has nothing to offer, just because the subject may offend some.
Human population control has nothing to do with race, religion, culture, history etc etc etc. It has a lot to do with survival of every living thing
My own personal opinion is that there are places in our world where the population is so immense that something must be done to stop it before these countries suffer massive scale famine.
Our basic survival needs are running out because of ongoing growing immense pressure on every natural resource.
I live in Australia where I can stand outside all day long and not one person will walk by me. However, I have been to places where it is impossible to ever be alone on a street or anywhere else for 10 seconds because of over population and poverty.
Human population control is something that needs to be intelligently and compassionately talked about with our world leaders. Education plays a vital role in survival of the human being.
If we do not do something soon we will suffer somehow someday.