Comments about ‘In our opinion: Overpopulation isn't the world's concern — the problem is too few births’

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Published: Sunday, June 1 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

"...and that human ingenuity has been and will continue to be the key to solving a host of ills that once seemed to loom large." This is a statement of faith only. But you will not endorse ingenuity to control greenhouse gas emissions. Your position is inconsistent.

Here is the dilemma. Population growth globally has been spurred by the tapping of carbon based fuels, especially coal. Burning coal has caused the liberation of heretofore sequestered carbon, which is heating the atmosphere, threatening the viability of human life over the next 200 years. Even if organizations such as yourself were consistent it's going to be difficult for carbon re-sequestration to work because that technology is in its infancy and growing populations require more and more energy. Population growth requires more and more coal and petroleum burning, and such allows for more population, a feedback loop.

Your theology requires you to think the population can grow without limits, but it just isn't so, even with ingenuity.

Far East USA, SC

"What can the world do about this trend?"

And the solution according to the DN?

Govt policies that encourage marriage and families.
Govt policies that include tax breaks for encourage large families.
Govt Policies that support religious freedom.

Shocked, I say. SHOCKED. I just never saw that coming.

Virginia Beach, VA

Yes, it’s widely believed “that overpopulation is a looming problem destined to sap the planet’s resources . . . " That’s because it is, and NO, reality does not tell a “different story.”

Reality says human beings compete for resources, and concentrations of human beings, like too many rats in a cage, cause conflict.

BTW, do you know why Concentration Camps are called concentration camps? It’s because large numbers of people are concentrated in one location, like unhappy sardines.

To suggest that a huge population encourages innovation is somewhat naïve. Truly great minds have done their best work in relative obscurity and isolation, or among small groups of dedicated people working toward a common goal. Newton went rural to avoid the Black Plague, and came up with the Theory of Gravity while inventing calculus. Einstein worked in a patent office, while dissecting Brownian Motion and dreaming up the Theory of Relativity.

A large concentration of people doesn't spur innovation.

Why do you think China imposed its one-child policy over 30 years ago? BTW, have you noticed what an ascendant power China has become since then?

Facts do NOT support the author’s premise.

Hayden, ID

And who is it that are spreading the lies of overpopulation and growing world poverty?

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

A very short sighted view of over population IMVHO.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

So according to one of the linked articles, world population in the 1800's was 1 billion; it was 3 billion by the 1960's; and just 50 years later it reached 7 billion. And the conclusion is there have been too few births?

And necessity is not the mother of invention. Population size is. And the most effective way to fight poverty is not to educate and empower women, but to laden women with even more mouths to feed and, presumably, a different kind of religion than the one they currently practice.


IMO, this is another example of religion hijacking the thought process to further its own survival.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

As one who studies water issues in the West, I can say that we're in for some troubled times as our population doubles in the next two decades. If our water supplies remain the same (or decrease as climatologists predict), our children and grandchildren are going to experience significant problems.

One of the proposals that states are considering is "toilet to tap" water resources -- where states will take raw sewage and treat it for re-use. It will cost billions -- taxpayers picking up the bill. Yes, we'll have more taxpayers to cover the cost of providing this basic necessity -- but it will consume significant energy to process the sewage, guzzling our dwindling coal resources in Utah and other fossil fuels throughout the West.

The problem with using fossil fuels is that too guzzles water (steam to make the electricity), so we're going to need to tap additional water supplies just to provide the power to treat the sewage for our survival.

Yes, the Des News can wax philosophically about the wonders of overpopulation, but for those of us actually working on solving the future resource needs of that overpopulation, we're facing a grim future.

seattle, WA

I really don't believe my eyes after reading this piece. We need to have bigger families so that the average age of the population doesn't climb? That because poverty and hunger rates world wide have fallen that we can support billions more on the planet? That our global resources are infinite?

I would never advocate forced population control. That is wrong. However, to avoid looking at the vast poverty and hunger that still exists on the planet is bizarre thinking. There are hungry people in this country! With our vast productivity, we still don't do a very good job of feeding the world. Encouraging family is all well and good, but to encourage large families is poor policy. Tax breaks that pay for personal fecundity reduces a treasury that is lacking to pay current or past bills. (if you can afford 'em, have 'em. If you can not don't.)

As a general rule, societies with education and affluence self limit population growth by choice. Women have family planning decision making. Poor, ill educated societies have large unfed families throughout most of the world. I prefer the former method.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

"...There is evidence, such as a report from the Barna Group, a research organization in California, that Christians feel a greater responsibility to solve global poverty than nonbelievers...."

The Barna Group is an evangelical Christian polling firm based in Ventura, California.

"...There is reason to believe this extends to believers of other faiths, as well...".


Dietrich, ID

Seems like Countries that have a high starvation rate have low population density. In Africa corrupt government and way of life has kept some people from enjoying an abundant life. Interesting the same people that criticize, drilling and mining, and cars, tractors and combines that produce are food are concerned about the population.

I had textbooks that all they talked about was how bad it would be with overpopulation. Compared animal carrying capacity. However no animal grows it's own food and causes other plants and animals to breed so they can eat food. All based on instinct. Humans grow there own food and know how to have much food on less land. Hong Kong, Japan and England are dense, yet no one is starving.

Seems like people like Robert Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich when there prophecies failed just covered them up. India is dense yet fewer people are starving over there now. Voluntary human extinction movement think we need to die out. See a house no one lived in, or where no people have been after human care. Does not look good.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The ultimate weapon in the competition for survival is the number of people you control.

The main control over a person starts with his parents. It is likely that the religious fervor over the creation of new life, procreation, was born in the desire to increase the fold. Offspring usually become vassals of the parents associations automatically with no effort from the tribe, clan, race, etc.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

This is a pretty simplistic analysis. We haven't sapped the earth's resources yet and the standard of living across the world has continued to increase, therefore we can go on increasing population forever. That argument would not have passed muster in my PhD program. As a matter of fact, I do not think it would have passed muster in my undergraduate coursework.

Salt Lake City, UT

dI am torn on this subject. On one hand, I am glad that human beings are being more thoughtful about having children. On the other, it is difficult not to consider why young people are not having kids. In my view it is selfishness and immaturity. "I want to spend my money on me and do fun things. Who wants to have the responsibility and miserable life of a parent being shackled to a screaming, whiny, slobbery, fun sucker. They hamper my time, my freedom to do what I want, when I want. Who would not only want that but pray for it and cherish it?" The context of multiple conversations I have had with women in my office. The other problem is, people have one or two kids and lacking any fortitude, cannnot bare to have more. Pretty weak if you ask me. I'm not saying every family should have 6 kids but 2? Maybe my view is skewed because I know so many amazing people who want kids and can't.

Idaho Falls, ID

Overpopulation is not a problem? What about the billon dollar pipeline from Lake Powell, which by the way is verging on being empty because of the demand of population? What about Nevada wanting to tap into Utah aquifer because they don't have enough water for their population? What about the consumption of unreplaceable natural resources, such as petroleum. What about the melting ice shield in Antarctica, and melting glaciers in Alaska because of emission of green house gases? If the population was 10% of what it is now, most of these problems would be manageable. Is anything going to be left for future generations? It does not appear so.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Completely wrong. The world's population needs a healthy balance. There are currently far too many people consuming far too few resources.

St.George, Utah

Have you mentioned this to all those starving people, living in the worse conditions imaginable, throughout our world?

Salt Lake City, UT

I have been happy to socialize with many different types of families, (large, medium and small). I love children, but my family is small. This isn't be choice, it just is. I have been disappointed a number of times in my life as to how people are judged as to things that are not in their control. If people desire large families and they have the resources to care for them (whether born naturally or adopted) I admire them greatly. But often in our world there are people that have children with no thought as to how they will care for them and the children suffer. The advances made in this world that are spoken about in this article should also include the fact that people can now make a choice as to what is right for them in their lives (large or smaller families). They can then hope that they can find a way to accomplish that goal. And if the unexpected in life doesn't allow them their goals, may they find happiness in their life anyway. The amount of children in their family shouldn't control that.

Salt Lake City, UT

I can't conceive of a situation where the editorial board isn't thinking "we need more babies" because you can never stabilize the population under the suggested ratio of young to old people.

Centerville, UT

Shorter editorial: We're living longer, so we need more young people to take care of us. What happened to the mantra of personal responsibility?

Salt Lake City, UT

"The other problem is, people have one or two kids and lacking any fortitude, cannnot bare to have more. Pretty weak if you ask me. I'm not saying every family should have 6 kids but 2? "

Yeah, you go right on ahead and tell that to my mom who gave birth to 11 and 10.5 lb babies for her two...

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