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Human population management or human population control is the is the practice of keeping the human population at a sustainable human population number. Population management is a essential part of any civilisation, as it directely effects the amount of soil, water and air pollution, and the linked species reduction and climate change (see Environmentalism)
- reducing infant mortality so that parents do not increase their family size to ensure at least some survive to adulthood.
- decreasing immigration
The size of a sustainable population
A sustainable population number is estimated by many environmental organisation at about 2 billion people.
Benefits of population management
As the number of people goes down, the financial wealth per person increases. This, by itself, is already a sufficient reason to reduce the population growth, especially as today, there are billions of people living in extreme poverty. By helping people to manage their reproduction we can thus reduce poverty. Spending the same resources to take care of a smaller number of children helps to ensure better outcomes for those children.
People's attitude towards population management
As the population becomes wealthier (and with it, enjoys a higher education and has the ability to make more choices in life) it begins to see the benefits of having less children and will be eager to continue following the doctrine. This, in effect makes continued use of population manegement easier.
People that have not yet seen the benefits of population management (ie traditional groups in most societies) are often opposed to population management.
Civil government politics
Since the topic of population growth and manegement therof is considered a taboo, we haven’t been able to discuss it much, especially in our mainstream media. Politicians also tend to avoid the topic out of fear of losing votes, despite that this means that this dooms the population by avoiding to tackle the problem.
Due to the fact that politicians shy away from the problem, only very basic population management techniques have been put in place in most developing countries (except China, which does have a aduquate population management technique set in place). This technique that is employed in most developing countries is called family planning and generally makes use of methods such as the use of contraception.
Reducing the population size in a timely manner
In the last centuries, the population has been increasing exponentially (see Population size). As the problems associated with it have hence also been increasing exponentially, timely resolving of the problem has become of the essence, so as to avoid catastrophes. The effects of birthrates are cumulative and act over the long-term. As such although reducing birthrates may be positive, it does not address the need to greatly reduce our impact on climate in the short term.
Depending on the measures used to manage the population, the population size can be reduced slower or faster. However, regardless of the measure used, the reduction of the population will still take significant time
For the time being, besides engaging on this population mangement option, we hence also need to implement additional measures to combat climate change, ie using means such as energy conservation, reducing meat consumption (to reduce methane emissions), ...
Notes and references
- Human population control methods
- Note that some of the measures noted here are cruel/unethical and should not be used, they're just mentioned here in order to be completely accurate
- Lifeblood: How to Change the World One Dead Mosquito at a Time, Alex Perry p9
- WWF's Living Planet report stating that if we all want to live with a high degree of luxury (European standards), we would be spending 3x more than what the planet can supply, and current population number is 7 billion people.
- 1,29 billion people living in extreme poverty
- the global yearly mortality rate being about 2%; so requiring ? years to attain the 2 billion-large sized population
- A hypothetical scenario for implementing aduquate population control measures in practice
- Juridical measures to be taken nationally on climate change
In his book Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen compares population control measures in Kerala (based on education and free choice) with China (often forced) and finds that Kerala's were actually slightly more effective.