The Myth: Starvation is a good indicator of overpopulation. The Truth: In nature, we define overpopulation as when the population is beyond the sustainable level without any reference to starvation. Starvation will not occur until damage to the environment exhausts the supply of food. Starvation may could be highly unlikely very last consequence, but is useless as an indicator, as starvation would only occur in they unlikely event overpopulation leads to total destruction of the environment.
Long before starvation, more desirable and healthier foods become more expensive and force more people into a lower quality diet of processed foods, breads, and ‘pizza, pasta, burgers’. Overpopulation has began when further population increase will have a negative impact on quality of life for the average citizen. The wealthiest 1% will eat well and thrive better than ever in a totally overpopulated world, while an increasing percentage of rest of the population experience a decline in the quality and variety of their diet.
While some environmentalists warn that overpopulation will eventually lead to starvation, these are most likely relativity wealthy environmentalists, who are isolated from the impacts of overpopulation on everyday life today.
Focus on starvation as a symptom, most benefits those with per capita profits who wish to promote population growth as long as possible, since focusing on the last problem, allows ignoring the issue until that last moment. To focus on starvation, is to risk the planet being another Easter Island.
To set things straight: famines are not a useful indicator of overpopulation.
Using final outcomes to detect the problem means the problem remains hidden until it is too late to act. Starvation may be a final outcome, just as death is a final outcome of cancer. Starvation arrives too late to used to detect overpopulation. Declaring ‘the starving billions has not happened so we need not fear overpopulation’ is about as well advised as declaring ‘I am not dying yet, therefore I need take no precautions to prevent cancer’.
Environmental damage is the useful symptom, as control of population is on the right track, if we stay on track we can avoid catastrophe is largely already in place. It is not necessary to bury our heads in the sand.
Continue reading “Overpopulation: starvation is the last symptom.”