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Toward a Sustainable Human Population

A shocking conversation

According to scientists, there is a limit to the human population that the Earth can sustain. While estimates do vary, they seem to average 8 billion people, which is the world's current population. Lower estimates include two billion people, which is when human-caused environmental damage first became obvious.

We humans are massively polluting the planet. First, microplastics, which are molecules of plastic shed from the billions of waste plastic produced world-wide over the past 100 years, are found everywhere. They are in drinking water, all oceans, lakes, rivers, snow, and even ice at the north and south poles. They are in our food, in the air, and cannot be avoided. They are thought to be responsible for an increase in colon cancer among younger Americans, and other diseases as well in the general population.

The massive increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has the current level of CO2 one-third higher than it has ever been in the past 400 million years. This is causing ocean warming at a rate that may see all ice on Earth gone in just 25 years. Crops are already failing due to drought and heat in some parts of the world. World hunger is up.

So now the question is how do we keep the human population from increasing further? Do we wait for the Earth to solve the problem by becoming inhospitable to life? Should we actively attempt to reduce the population to two billion?

Why are we not working on a gene editing method that would allow women to ovulate only once a year instead of every 28 days? Would not this help reduce the population to sustainable numbers, and make women's lives easier as well?

Why are scientists still working on extending human lives when we have too many humans? Should we not be working on means to keep people healthy and working longer so they can still be productive at current lifespans?

Why are fertility clinics allowed to treat couples who cannot conceive when the planet has too many humans?

Why are anti-abortion laws allowed when having more people in the world harms those already here? This is mainly the fault of religion still responding to the competition for followers in the middle ages. The religious leaders of the world need to be persuaded that birth control and abortion are acceptable, admittedly a tall order.

Why are migrants allowed to move from nutritionally poor countries, which continue to produce too many children, to nutritionally rich ones?

The issue of forcing industry to change technology to reduce CO2 and methane emissions and to replace plastics with other less-polluting materials is separate. Here the only question is how do we reduce human population and population growth to earth-sustainable levels?

Some form of triage may be needed for aid to starving populations. Group one would be those countries that can feed their own people. Group two would be those countries that need just a little aid at low cost to have adequate nutrition. Group three would be those people who cannot provide themselves with even the basics. Do we provide them with aid or turn a blind eye?

This is no longer just a moral question about helping people, but one that involves survival of the human population at large and that of all lifeforms on Earth.

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