Comments about ‘Overpopulation? We should be so lucky’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 7 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Walnut Creek, CA

Hans Rosling sums it up in his "Religions and babies" talk as follows (and he has tons of great data to back it up). Across the entire globe babies per woman decrease when:
1. Children survive
2. Many children are not needed for work to support their families
3. Women get education and join the labor force
4. Family planning is accessible

It has nothing to do with how religious people are and whether they feel like they need to sacrifice their own interests to bring children into the world. There is tons of data to back up his claim. Give it a google.

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

Last ignores the exponential factor.

When he sees a family with six children, I'm guessing he sees only six children and thinks, "Great, that will help our birth rate."

When I see a family with six children, I think, "If each of those kids has six kids themselves, we've got 36 more kids out of one family. If *those* kids each have six kids, we now have 216 more kids out of one family. And what if many other families did the same?"

Remember that encouragement to save, that goes something like (I don't have the exact figures), "If you save one penny the first month, then save double that the next month, then keep doubling each month's total, within (a surprisingly short period of time) you'll be a millionaire. That's the magic of compounding."

Well it works the same for families, only in this case that's the *terror* of compounding.

Have children, yes, but not "many." And if you don't want any, don't let anyone lay a guilt trip on you for feeling that way. No child should be born as "obligatory," only because s/he's loved.


I read Mr. Last's book. He is dead on right. If you think overpopulation is a problem, you are a complete fool.

Layton, UT

I've lived in a very progressive part of the country where people don't marry, are very career oriented, don't want children, and those that do have children have two at the most and those children are to be super-star overachievers if they are to be anything.

It was hard to raise five kids in a place like that because everyone had advice about how best to parent, but no one had any kids, so they'd make it their business to parent yours.

One of the most refreshing things about moving to Utah was that five kids wasn't an anomaly to be rectified. The whole culture was turned more to sensible ways to help children succeed. I found the whole cultural regard for children, handicapped, elderly and underpriveleged to be much more engaged and effective.

When we ignore the youngest in our society in practice (not political stunts, but actually HAVING children) the society as a whole benefits.

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Our current food chain requires large amount of oil to be used in fertilizer and fuel. If the author truly believes we can support more billions he should be promoting energy research and renewable investment.


Religions start with conclusions and any thinking is about finding ways to support those conclusions, no matter how irrational they prove to be. This article illustrates the problem and shows how dangerous it is. Belief in "Be fruitful and multiply" keeps the band playing, even as the ship sinks.

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