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Should we Fear Overpopulation?

South African crowd: ID 30276884 © Neil Bradfield |

[Originally published as Is the World Overpopulated? No.]

Six people just survived the sinking of an ocean vessel. They are afloat in a lifeboat with only enough water for five. On board are a doctor, a carpenter, a nurse, a blind elderly woman, a sailor, and a counselor.

Public school students given this scenario over the years were then asked, “Who should be thrown overboard?” Environmentalists designed this exercise to teach public students to solve problems by “eliminating” excess people.

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Jacques Cousteau said, “to stabilize the world population we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say,” he admitted, “but it’s just as bad not to say it.” This Hitlerian sentiment, published in UNESCO Courier in November 1991, is not rare among enviro-chondriacs.

Britain’s Prince Philip, president of the Worldwide Fund for Nature, is quoted by The New American’s Robert Lee, Sept. 5, 1994 saying that he would like to be reincarnated as a “killer virus to lower human population levels.” Prince HIVlip, perhaps?

How does anyone know there is only enough water for five? Utterly discredited, yet an authority to liberals, is Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, who has apparently not had a single prediction come true. America, he declared: would have widespread food rationing by the late 70s, would be “literally dying of thirst” by 1984, and would have 65 million famine deaths in the 80s. [See more politically correct predictions.]

Jack Fish, Brighton, Colorado public school teacher, school board member and local columnist insisted on’s Bob Enyart Live that the reason for Somalia’s famine was their overpopulation:

Enyart: What is Somalia’s population?
Fish: I’m not sure.
Enyart: I’m not asking for an exact number, just to the nearest million.
Fish: I don’t know.
Enyart: Well, then, if they are over populated, what is their population density per square mile?
Fish: I don’t know.

Somalia’s density was 29 people per square mile in 1994 and in 2014 has risen to only 36. Apocalyptic doomsayers like enviro-­chondriacs are prone to flatly invent facts. Somalia is under-populated. Under-population often does produce famine. Compare Somalia’s population density to countries in Western Europe. As a rule of thumb, countries with greater population density have higher standards of living, literacy rates, and life expectancies. The following numbers for 2014 indicate the people per square mile for:

Nice Places Density Lousy Places Density
Austria 259 Angola 39
Belgium 919 Bolivia 23
Denmark 332 Botswana 9
England 660 Ctrl. Afr. Rep. 18
France 295 Chad 23
Germany 593 Rep. of Congo 31
Ireland 168 Laos 70
Israel 961 Liberia 80
Italy 518 Libya 9
Japan 873 Mozambique 75
Luxembourg 502 Namibia 7
Netherlands 1,052 Niger 31
Poland 316 Paraguay 41
Spain 236 Papua New Guinea 39
Switzerland 487 Peru 60
Rhode Island 1,006 Russia 21
Athens 44,140 Sudan 44
Boston 13,340 Somalia 36
Madrid 14,000 Uruguay 52
Rome 43,949 Venezuela 88
San Fran. 17,867 Zaire (DRC) 75
Sydney 965 Zambia 44
Toronto 10,750 Zimbabwe 85

Countries with lower population densities generally have lower standards of living. Notice the scarcity of human beings in the poor nations. Whereas some of the most beautiful places on earth, and certainly the most prosperous and desirable, have tremendously dense populations. An average of 37,500 Tokyo residents live in each square mile of their city. In Paris, 54,899 Frenchmen, women, and children live in each square mile. And the 1.6 million New Yorkers living on Manhattan Island boast a density of 66,940 people per square mile!

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In the Far East, Japan, at 873 people per square mile, has a much higher standard of living than countries liberals argue are overpopulated such as China at 368, Indonesia at 342, and Thailand at 332. Taiwan has one of the highest standards of living in the East, with 1,655 people per square mile, more than four times as dense as those of much lower prosperity on the mainland.

People are assets, not liabilities. Socialists and communists, however, since they must provide for so many helpless dependents, see people as consumers, rather than the producers most are. A few hundred years ago, famine was rampant in North America. Today, with a nearly thousand-fold increase in population, we not only feed ourselves but much of the left-wing world.

If the world’s five-billion-plus people went to Colorado for a day, they could fit easily into one speck on the map of Colorado, the 404 square miles of Rocky Mountain National Park. They would not have to squeeze together like sardines, but could stand comfortably. The world’s population would double before spilling over into the nearest town.

The sky is falling only in the chicken little minds of the overpopulation purveyor. Rather than a full house or a crowded lifeboat, an orbiting alien would view our world as nearly empty, as airline passengers can attest. Paul Ehrlich publicly bet a conservative economist that during the 1980s, natural resources would grow more scarce. Ehrlich chose five minerals to monitor. In 1990, losing the bet, Ehrlich made his wife sign the check, which amounted to over $500. The resources he was sure would become more scarce and therefore more expensive, in reality sold at reduced prices due to their greater availability world-wide.

Even the end-of-the-world prophets admit there is no global food shortage. Famine, like that in the former Soviet Union and in Somalia, results from false ideas, harmful religions and interventionist governments, not from too many people.

The Agricultural Economic Institute at Oxford University has estimated that, with current technology, the world could feed 100 billion people, while it is home to less than one-tenth that number, according to Robert Lee. Rapid progress in agri- and aqua-culture make it impossible to determine the upper limit of our future food supply.

Who do you throw overboard? The sailor, the doctor, the nurse? “No, the old woman is already sick,” countless students have decided, “it’s her time to go anyway.” Planned Parenthood’s founder and longtime president Margaret Sanger wrote that the handicapped, including the “blind, deaf, dumb, mute and epileptics,” were the “dead weight of human waste.” See her Pivot of Civilization, page 112, available through most public libraries.

With that anti-handicapped attitude from Planned Parenthood’s founder, it is not surprising that they support killing handicapped unborn children, since they are only “human waste.” It is not surprising that Planned Parenthood still gives out awards in Sanger’s name.

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When people decide that others are better off dead “for their own sake,” it is not a far jump to Jacques Cousteau saying they are better off “eliminated” for the good of all. Whatever happened to one-for-all and all-for-one?

Historically, the overpopulation myth encouraged the brutal slaughter of the French Revolution. Greek philosophers feared the overcrowding of their ancient world. And even further back in time, the Babylonian and Assyrian accounts of the great flood held that, “the gods led by Enlil, agreed to cleanse the earth of an overpopulated humanity.”

Whereas human beings are assets, the primary two causes of poverty are bad government and bad religion. Those who want ultimate control over others, however, have long wielded the overpopulation myth. Yet 2,800 years ago wise Solomon knew that, “In the multitude of people is the king’s honor, but in the lack of people is the destruction of the prince” (Proverbs 14:28).

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Written by Bob Enyart

Bob Enyart was cohost Real Science Radio with Fred Williams talking about science to debunk evolution and to show the evidence for the creator God including from biology, geology, astronomy, and physics. RSR didn't only talk the talk. They made their own discoveries, inventions, and breakthrough reports! And they debated atheists and Darwinists as well as spar with anti-creationists. Most fun of all, they got to interview the outstanding scientists who dare to challenge today's accepted creed that nothing created everything.

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