Welcome to the 7 Billionth Baby
Apparently, we took the words Go forth and multiply” really, really seriously, because the world just got a little bit smaller last week. A baby was born on Halloween morning, bringing the total world’s population to 7 billion people.
I can hear the Malthusians screaming in the streets, or huts, or teepees or wherever hippies live these days (the trees on the Berkeley campus, perhaps?). These populationists keep yelling on their soup boxes, into their megaphones, about how the whole world is going to Hell (figuratively, hopefully). Personally, I’m not a fan of facts and logical statements like “We should stop reproducing because population growth is exponential, while as food growth is only arithmetical.” What I need is something with a lot of pathos, and completely lacking logos. Luckily, I have just the plan.
First of all, the biggest problem with overpopulation is lack of resources. Of all the resources that we lack, the most lacking is clean water. Now, I know that this may come as a surprise to some of you, especially since we have so much clean water that we make amusement parks out of it, but there are people in Africa who walk up to 20 miles a day just for a little bit of dirty, hepatitis-filled water (I know, I was shocked too. I don’t know why they don’t just get water at their local Starbucks). I say, we let global warming, which is also a major world problem, melt the ice caps (which are 70 percent fresh water), and then people in Africa will have more than enough water to make their own Wild Rivers! There. Two birds, one stone. Everyone’s happy.
What else is wrong with overpopulation? Well, Malthusians also claim we don’t have enough land to support all the people. Coincidently, the governor of Texas just said that God was watching after him and his state. Perfect! It just so happens that the entire world’s population can fit inside the state of Texas, as long as the population was as dense as New York City. Now, I’m not a big fan of Texas, but they do have good toast, and if Rick Perry is serious about a higher power keeping his peeps safe, I say move everyone to the Lone Star State.
Perhaps with some spiritual guardianship, there won’t be 500,000 cancer deaths, 1 million people dying of malaria, 2 million deaths due to HIV, or 12 percent of the total world’s population dying from ischemic heart disease. Also, if everyone lived in Texas, everyone would be an American, and we all know that would make everyone more smarter, less violent, better-looking and more accepting of people that are different than us.
The prodigious people pack is also producing a “peak petroleum” point problem, which is pretty much the polar opposite of pleasant. The problem is, we are reaching a point where we’ve extracted the maximum amount of oil this fine Earth has to offer. When that happens, economists predict that social chaos would arise. Society would cease to function. Nothing would be able to be transported. And while that sounds awful, this also means that the drug transport would virtually cease to exist. Cocaine planes from Columbia. Marijuana Volkswagen Buses from Northern California. Cheap prescription drugs for senior citizens from Canada. All of these would virtually stop overnight. And let’s not forget that our economy relies on the ability to transport goods. Therefore, no goods equals no capitalism which equals happy Occupy Irvine students.
I think it’s clear as day that overpopulation has drastic and negative effects on the world. I also think it’s quite evident that there are some very viable and logical solutions to lessening the negative effects of overpopulation. True, most of them involve a lack of action, rather than actually doing something, but I’m pretty sure that apathy is a key characteristic of Generation Y-ers (who are approximately 37 percent of the total world population). If worse comes to worst though, and nothing gets better, don’t forget that there is an obesity epidemic in Western, industrialized countries and a lot of poor, starving people in Africa. Jonathan Swift’s proposal doesn’t look so bad.
Justin Huft is a third-year psychology and social behavior major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.