Overpopulation isn't the world's concern — the problem is too few births

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  • regis Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    This editorial is right on the money. Go back 100 years and ask scientists of that day what would happen if there were 7 billion people on the planet. I guarantee they would predict complete societal collapse. Yet, as the editorial correctly points out, we now have 7 billion people inhabiting the planet and they all live in far better circumstances than those who were living 100 years ago.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    June 4, 2014 6:55 a.m.

    What we need is more rational, thoughtful discussion on human families and poverty. Growing up on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, I saw that poverty is a state of mind. People slept under tin roofs and swept dirt floors. Yet they ate like kings and had an overall generous and positive attitude towards each other. In the U.S. I see people in black leather jackets driving nice cars using food stamps. They see themselves as "underprivileged" and therefore, deserving of a handout. A study of history shows that simply having more people does not mean there is more suffering. Conversely, having less of a population does mean Utopia either. The people who scream about overpopulation and climate change have not studied the history of the earth. When has the earth's climate NOT been changed? "There and back again" seems a fitting title. It seems to me that war and famine and ignorance are what cause human suffering. Africa, without the disruption of war and genocide, would be much more able to feed and care for it's own. Resources? Define such. We could all live quite happily with less.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    June 3, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    Folks, you want to know where this crazy notion of earth overpopulation started? It began with (you guessed it…) a radical Leftist College Professor by the name of Paul Ehrlich. He’s a biology professor at Stanford University. In 1968 he wrote a book called “The Population Bomb.” As you can guess from the title, it was chock full of dire warnings and predictions about the doom that faced our earth if population wasn’t brought under control. As you can also guess, this book and its bogus predictions were celebrated by Liberals everywhere.

    Just a few of Professor Ehrlich’s cataclysmic predictions from his 1968 book:

    * In the 1970s, hundreds of millions of people would starve to death.

    * In the 1980s, food riots would cause the president to dissolve the US Congress, and 65 million Americans would die of starvation and disease.

    * By 1999 the US population would be reduced to only 22 million, and India and Great Britain would cease to exist.

    Nope, none of these predictions came to pass…not even close!

    Professor Ehrlich is now warning that overpopulation will force us to eat our dead.

    Looks like overpopulation science is as accurate as global warming science.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    June 3, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    @the truth

    Fascism is very much an extreme right-wing ideology. Leftist ideologies tend to look to do away with societal classes and put all on even standing with the expectation that their contribution is to the collective good while each has their individual needs met--also by the collective. Right-wing ideologies such as fascism are nationalistic and expansionist in nature with distinct and differing classes in society; the ruling class being at the top and in charge of everything. In right-wing ideologies production is to support the state; in left-wing ideologies it is to meet the needs of everyone equally.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    @the truth
    "OR our own death "waiting lists" used a our Veteran Hospitals administators."

    Then tell McConnell not to filibuster Bernie Sanders' funding expansion for the VA so they can hire more people to help reduce the waiting times.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    @the truth
    Even Glenn Beck's e-mail newsletter called the neo-nazi germany just elected to an EU seat "far right".

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    June 3, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    The joy of children and the productivity of people to society are irreplaceable. There's is enough for all and to spare; there are occasionally problems of mismanagement of resources, but not of too large a population.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    Based upon the sheer number of "recomended" posters it seems the DN position is not held in high regard. One can only hope that we're smart enough to realize the earth has a limited carrying capacity not only for humans but for all of its inhabitants. Quality of life is not determined by the quanity of those living it.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 2, 2014 6:02 p.m.


    You are just plain wrong,

    There is and was noNO right wing in Germany, nor in Europe, there was just left and far left. and facism is neither right or left but its own thing with attributes from both sides.

    Regardless of your perceptions, the american right wing is nothing like you perceive.

    But we do know the Nazis were extremists that took over a socialist party.

    I think it is outrageous and overly convenient that you ignore the acts of the left wing and left wing individuals against those groups you have mentioned.

    But we do know the left has had their solutions, from starving millions in the Ukraine and in china, to death camps. And Fabian socialist plans of removing surplus population based on whom they most deemed worthy of life. OR our own death "waiting lists" used a our Veteran Hospitals administators. (and by the way the same thing is going on in Britain other places where there is socialist healthcare. Because they can't afford to take care of everybody.)

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 2, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    @ Stable thought:

    How is that progressives protect Muslim extremists? I think most progressives (and most conservatives) like families, though they might disagree about how to protect family life. These do not seem like conflicting positions to me. I think you are cherry-picking extreme positions taken by some progressives and generalizing them to all progressives.

    We're a long way from Sharia law.

  • wingnutty Casa Grande, AZ
    June 2, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    The facts are that until the 20th century women had about 2 children survive out of 6 average births. Modern medicine and cheap energy let more children survive and have enough to eat.

    Now women are CHOOSING to have just over 2 children on average. What is the great drama you are making out of this when it seems GOD himself was fine for women to have about 2 surviving children throughout human history?

    Was is god that didn't value family life before the 20th century?

  • Stable thought FORT MORGAN, CO
    June 2, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    I always think it is entertaining to see how many conflicting positions the progressives take, the dislike Religion in general, protect the Muslims extremists, and don't like family's, but love their affluent living in the US....well if the religious are the ones having babies they will have just more of christian, Mormons to hate and more Muslims to love, just wait until the progressives become a supper minority more and more and they have to live Sharia law.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    June 2, 2014 1:33 p.m.


    "I'm not saying every family should have 6 kids..."

    Yes, I think you are.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 2, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    @Ironhide, we no longer live on the frontier and need to bare free labor.
    God was talking to 2 people when he said "multiply...."

    higv said: "why are they starving? Is it overpopulation or underproduction? Africa is close to equator and has rich natural resources. And they are not dense. So government and way of life causes starvation not overpopulation."

    Gotta ignore a lot of european influence, and pilfering that continues still, to believe that line.

  • Utefan4Lyf West Jordan, UT
    June 2, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    I'm not positive as to why you think selfishness as a reason not to have children is an issue? At least they are making the decision to be child-free and enjoy themselves rather than have children they are not sure they want. The way I see it, for every childless couple, there are enough families with 6, 7, 8, etc. to make up for it. I believe that we are overcrowding and this places a large strain on all resources, natural or not. A prime example is the amount of taxes I pay to cover those with six or more children.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    June 2, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    If we really read between the lines, this article does hold some kernels truth if you dig down a bit. That the developed world's birth rate is going down is true! By kernels, I meant kernel. The rest of this article appears to be make-believe.

    It is amazing how an entire multi-page narrative is gingerly build around just one tiny little fact that supports absolutely none of it.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 2, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    And you shake your heads wondering how UTAH can possibly be the Net-Work Marketing Ponzi Scheme capitol on Earth?...

    Exhibit A.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 2, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    @Ironhide writes, "my view is skewed because I know so many amazing people who want kids and can't."

    If these amazing people want kids, there are plenty out there. Not all are babies. Not all are white. But they're all beautiful, and they all deserve people who will love them and commit to them.

    Except for my twins, who were seven months old when we adopted them, our ten adopted kids were between 3 and 12 when they came to us. Were there issues? You bet there were. Did we resolve them? Yes. Would we do it again? In a heartbeat.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    June 2, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    @Nate - "Some of you people have your values mixed up." You pointed out the inconsistency in limiting births, considering that this is one of the very reasons the earth was created.

    That is one of the most insightful statements on population concerns that I've ever heard. Thank you for highlighting this highly relevant principle.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 2, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Better not to be born at all, than to be born and suffer adverse economic conditions?

    Some of you people have your values mixed up.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 2, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    Hey "The Truth" -

    "The horrible answers that have come from the left . . . have led to . . . the final solution of the Nazis"

    NO, that is NOT the Truth

    Nazis, are Fascicts . . . . Far Right-Wing Nationalists . . . not unlike America's far right wing . . . Characterized by those who stalk and murder Jews, Sikhs, racial minorities, and foreign-born Americans, as highlighted by news events during the last few years.

    JoeBlow -

    "No one can sincerely believe that this earth can sustain an infinite amount of people. Common sense would tell you that"


    Unfortunately, common sense is regarded suspiciously in some circles.

  • nicholdraper West Jordan, UT
    June 2, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    If more people brought more innovation then China and India would be the most innovative countries on the planet. Overpopulation and underpopulation arguments are always wrong. There is a point where the earth will become overpopulated, but it is likely a number so huge that people today can't imagine it. Underpopulation is only a short term problem in a few places. Most population problems are not technical but political. As an engineer I can design a water purification system that would deliver 100 times the amount of water we currently use without threat of drought to the entire US. We have a pipeline across Alaska that pumps oil year round. We could just as easily pump water from the Pacific or even the Atlantic ocean to water Nevada. But the cost would be a few cents more per gallon and why bother when a short term cheap solution makes the politician look good? So no need to be chicken little, the size of the population is not really a problem.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 2, 2014 6:32 a.m.

    I see nothing in this article or the comments supporting it which show any concern for the people most affected by a riase in reproduction -- the women who will have to bear the burden of, and rish their lives and health to "process", the additional pregnancies and childbirths. The editorial promotes "large" families which I presume means families of more than 3-4 children. I guess the editorial writers don't recognize the fact that childbirth is one of the most risky activites a woman can undertake, and having more than 3-4 children puts a woman at an ever-increasing risk of death or injury in pregancy and childbirth. If people want "large" families, then they should addopt some of the already-existing children who so badly need loving homes and loving families, and not overbreed (have 6 or 7 or 8 or more children). Women and their familieis would be better served if that is done.

  • Stougar Stafford, VA
    June 2, 2014 12:23 a.m.

    You guys are overthinking this. There is much more truth to the article than people realize, and if any of you were to take a population geography class you would know why.

    Many European countries are already experiencing problems with this. In France they already have to promise 6 months maternity for leave just for women to have children, and only recently has this caused to bring things back up near replacement level. Russia is having to pay women 10k to encourage them to have a second child because they were only having 1.1 births per woman just a few years ago. South Korea has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world at 1.3, and it is projected that in 2050 over 40% of their population will be too old to work, leaving 3 working people to have to provide the economic welfare for two elderly, not counting children they will also have to look after. It isn't economically sustainable. America's birth rate is only at 1.9, and it'll go down to about 1.7 as Latino's continue to have less children and they become more "Americanized," leading us to continue to have to rely more heavily on immigration.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    June 1, 2014 11:26 p.m.

    This is a poorly written article that makes a huge, erroneous assumption that there will be plenty of natural resources--from rare earth elements to oil to trees to water, etc--for an unlimited population. Remember, the editorial believes we have unlimited resources for an unlimited population.

  • Mike H. San Jose, CA
    June 1, 2014 11:02 p.m.

    Let me get this straight: Many of those who oppose population control and abortion also oppose cutting pollution, which causes stillbirths & baby deaths? It's a major concern in Vernal right now.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 1, 2014 9:10 p.m.

    I guess what I meant to say is that developed countries will face the effects of too low birth rate and an aging population. But for most developing countries, high birth rates are a huge problem. So depending on where you're at, it's a different problem...

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 1, 2014 8:38 p.m.

    So many seem to think that the solution is an ever increasing world population.

    I can see how that can solve short term problems while creating even larger long term problems.

    No one can sincerely believe that this earth can sustain an infinite amount of people. Common sense would tell you that.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    June 1, 2014 7:08 p.m.

    If human ingenuity can figure out how an ever-growing population of humanity can thrive with limited resources... than surely the problem of dealing with an aging population should be a far easier problem to solve, instead, no?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 1, 2014 6:55 p.m.

    I think we are making this too complicated.

    Many developing countries are facing or will face the challenge of an aging population and need to actually boost birth rates to a replacement level so this aging population will be taken care of without it becoming too much of a burden on the younger generation. However, the present economies of many of these nations continues to discourage marriage let alone childbirth (USA as a great example).

    As for developing countries, many are overrun by way too big of populations. Bangladesh is a classic example. They need to reduce their birthrate and do it yesterday. There isn't enough land or resources for the people on hand. It is a Malthusian nightmare. Malthus wasn't necessarily right on the macro (world) level but he was right on in a regional level.

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    June 1, 2014 6:00 p.m.

    Plenty of water fro everyone, it is just in the wrong place. People choose where they live based on the most illogical reasons when we consider "global resources". The right answer is force them to live where the resources can support them. Put them on ships and planes and move them to where the scientists and sociologists say the water and resources can support them. I vote for those that are worried about the overpopulation problem being the first ones to get on the moving van.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 1, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    The truly scary thing of all this will a be the solution form the left.

    We have a combination of problems, from fewer births to a growing older population and a growing dependent and entitled population.

    Which common sense tells us is entirely unsupportable in the long run.

    The horrible answers that have come from the left from Marxism and socialism, have led to communism and the final solution of the Nazis (originally thought up by Fabian socialists decades earlier)

    One thing we do know entitlement spending is failing all over the world including the US, witness her the Social security system (which needs more younger people paying to only get a horrible rate back) and the VA system (government controlled health care), and look at how the left is destroying our education system by federalizing it.

    This commentary is right, there are better answers. And breathing hard over imaginary problems isn't one of them.

  • Swimmer Honeyville, UT
    June 1, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    Folks, I find it hard to believe that those promoting population control have not seen what is going on in their world. One example: When Social Security was first instituted there were approximately 47 workers paying in for every person drawing out. There are now about 7 workers paying in for every person drawing out and that ratio is going to drop significantly since the baby boomer generation is just beginning to retire. Do the math and you will find that the SS program is going to be bankrupt soon.

    Second example: Demographers have calculated that due to China's one child policy and the selective abortions that have been going on for a generation, there will soon be 30,000,000 more men than women. China is headed for a train wreck as these men, with no hopes of ever marrying or having a relationship, become a huge criminal population in the making. I listened to one economist comment on this demographic problem and conclude that China is pretty well done.

    Third example: Russia: Already experiencing negative population growth, has instituted a policy to pay women to stay home to have children and are getting few takers.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 1, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    Someday, give or take a million years, human beings may have solved the mystery of making food from the energy of sun light and other sources. And unless we still have physical bodies, we may not need plants and other animals of even the earth itself. We may exist as waves of energy, coming and going anywhere in the universe that we choose. Able to manipulate the building blocks of time and matter, we might think ourselves like Gods.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 1, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    I had posted a good one here this morning.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    June 1, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    @Gary O the Chinese population policy is sin against humanity it violates the most basic human right for a couple to make there own decisions of how many kids to have. China is ending it now or modifying it do to the problems it caused. China is not better off do to that policy and hurt by it.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    June 1, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    Wow, the libs are out in force on this thread. Yet the article is right on the money. Rapidly slowing population growth in the developed world, combined with emerging developing economies is creating a upside-down demographic profile in Europe, Japan, China and in many other places around the globe. The U.S. is still above replacement population growth, but just barely. The problem is that a rapidly rising rate of elderly to young will create enormous strains on government budgets, social welfare programs and families simultaneously.

    Those citing rapidly rising GLOBAL population are missing the point. Many news mouths to feed in the poorest countries will not help the labor pool or budget deficits that are bulging in developed nations. In other words, the growth is in the wrong places...

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    June 1, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    @thornbirds why are they starving? Is it overpopulation or underproduction? Africa is close to equator and has rich natural resources. And they are not dense. So government and way of life causes starvation not overpopulation.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    June 1, 2014 2:08 p.m.


    I have one child (a daughter who's eight years old) because that's all I can emotionally and financially afford and I could frankly care less if you think I'm lacking in "fortitude." In spite of what many western Mormons think, parenting and childbearing is not a race or a contest. Just because other people can't have kids doesn't obligate me to pick up their slack. I make my own choices based on what I think I can handle and then try to live accordingly.

    I suppose you could say that I take personal responsibility. That's right, it's not just a buzzword for conservatives...

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    June 1, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    I think that even the Deseret News editorial board will agree that somewhere between our current world population of 7 billion people and a trillion people, the world population will have to stop growing.

    So, if we have to stop growing at some point, why not do it sooner rather than later? Population is not a Ponzi scheme, we can't have a large number of young relative to old people forever, unless population increases in perpetuity.

    And what about all of God's other creatures, it seems they aren't fairing too well with human's taking up all of the earth's available resources?

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    June 1, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    Should you research a bit, you will learn that there is not another state in the US that pressures a couple to have children, or to continue to have even MORE children, than the one you are living in right now.
    One finds young couples extremely stressed out when they are not able to conform to the pressures put upon them to go out and replenish as they have been admonished to do.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    "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...

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 1, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    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?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    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.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    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.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    June 1, 2014 10:21 a.m.

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

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 1, 2014 9:56 a.m.

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

  • woolybruce Idaho Falls, ID
    June 1, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Ironhide Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    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.

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    June 1, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 1, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    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.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    June 1, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    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.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 1, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    "...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...".


  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 1, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    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.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    June 1, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 1, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    June 1, 2014 6:12 a.m.

    A very short sighted view of over population IMVHO.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 1, 2014 5:42 a.m.

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

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 1, 2014 5:06 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 1, 2014 4:57 a.m.

    "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.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2014 12:28 a.m.

    "...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.