:: Overpopulation
Quotes on over population

"Slower global population growth will relieve pressure on the environment and other problems and grant time to find solutions. There are many actions that must be taken to alleviate poverty, improve food supply, end malnutrition, and provide adequate housing. The first is to achieve balanced population growth..."
Nafis Sadik, M.D.Under Secretary
General United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

"Creation destroys as it goes, throws down one tree for the rise of another. But ideal mankind would abolish death, multiply itself million upon million, rear up city upon city, save every parasite alive, until the accumulation of mere existence is swollen to a horror..."
D.H. Lawrence 1885-1930from: St Mawr 1925

"Second Theorem: The utterly dismal theorem. This theorem states that any technical improvement can only relieve misery for a while, for so long as misery is the only check on population, the [ technical ] improvement will enable population to grow, and will soon enable more people to live in misery than before. The final result of [ technical ] improvements, therefore, i to increase the equilibrium population which is to increase the total sum of human misery..."
Kenneth Boulding 1971, Collected Papers, Vol. II

6.6 Billion and Counting on Worldwatch.org
6.6 Billion and Counting

The human population is now more than 6.6 billion, and each year 78 million more people are added to that number. When will the world be ready to acknowledge the importance of this issue?

In our special fall campaign, we at the Worldwatch Institute are raising $30,000 to expand the breadth and scope of our work on reproductive health and population. We have eight days to raise enough money to call attention to what many of you have called "the elephant in the room."

Continued growth in human numbers is greatly complicating efforts to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases. It also contributes to a lack of clean water, exploited natural resources, and high proportions of young people who lack meaningful prospects in countries with rapidly growing populations.

Your contribution of $35, $50, $100, $250, or more will make this critical work possible.

While many other organizations shy away from the subject, Worldwatch is working to bring attention to the population issue in sensitive and constructive ways. For example, many leaders still don't understand that as many as two in five pregnancies worldwide aren't intended or welcomed—a problem that can be addressed with education and the provision of basic reproductive health services. But we need your help! Your contribution of $35, $50, $100, $250, or more will make this critical work possible.

You will get the biggest bang for your buck. Three generous Friends of Worldwatch have pledged a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $15,000, so your gift will have twice the impact!

If population is such a serious issue, why isn't every mainstream environmental organization talking about it?

Since its founding just four years after the first Earth Day in 1970, Worldwatch has presented human population as a critical force to be understood and addressed in building sustainable societies. Over the past seven years, the U.S. government has reduced its support of international family planning, heightening the need for organizations like Worldwatch to tackle this critical issue.

The Institute's focus on population—rare among environmental groups and unique within environmental research—has been expressed in our books, Worldwatch Papers, State of the World chapters, and even in the hiring of specific researchers dedicated to the topic. While we haven't focused on population as much as we'd like to in recent years, we want to change that.

But we can only do it with your help. Your voice is crucial in setting the agenda for our research. Let us know how much you care about this issue by making a gift today.

Can I count on you?


Christopher Flavin

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Optimum Population Trust
Optimum Population Trust

July 11 2007


Governments may be forced to introduce compulsory limits to family size if urgent action is not taken to restrain population growth through voluntary family planning, according to a report published today, World Population Day (Wednesday, July 11).
One-child policies, such as that now operating in China, are generally counter-productive and liable to discount human rights, the report says. But “in extreme situations, where states or regions may be almost uninhabitable through environmental damage, [they] may become unavoidable.”

The report, Youthquake, published by the Optimum Population Trust and written by Prof. John Guillebaud, a leading authority on family planning, points out that voluntary population stabilisation programmes, centring on education, awareness and removing the barriers to women’s control of their own fertility, have a proven record of success. A voluntary “two-child” population policy in Iran, for example, succeeded in halving fertility in eight years, as fast a rate of decrease as that of China, whose much-criticised one-child policy began in 1980.

However, worldwide there is still a “vast unmet need” for contraception. About 50 million of the roughly 190 million pregnancies worldwide each year end in abortions, half of the 380 women who become pregnant each minute did not plan to do so and at least 35 per cent of the estimated 550,000 women who die each year through abortions or childbirth are being killed by pregnancies they would have avoided if contraception had been available.

The report says the planet faces the biggest generation of young people in history – a “youthquake” with major social implications, “not least the creation of a huge cohort of young urban males who, through frustration and unemployment…seek an outlet in violence.”

A combination of high population and rising consumption levels means that humanity is currently outstripping the biological capacity of the Earth by 25 per cent each year. By 2050, when global population is projected to be 9.2 billion – an increase of 2.5 billion on today’s 6.7 billion - humans will be using the biocapacity of two Earths.

“Given that another habitable planet is not available, might humanity have to suffer the kind of death-dictated control to achieve stabilisation, or reduction by a “population crash” – a massive cull through violence, disease, starvation or natural disasters – which biology dictates for all other species when their numbers exceed the limits of their environment’s carrying capacity?
“Without action, longages of humans – the prime cause of all shortages of resources – may cause parts of the planet to become uninhabitable, with governments pushed towards coercive population control measures as a regrettable but lesser evil than unprecedented conflict and suffering.”
The report adds: “The continued inadequate resourcing of the voluntary approach [to population stabilisation] is arguably the best way to ensure that many more future governments will be forced, as they will then see it, through population pressure, to legislate for coercive birth control.”

Commenting on the report, Professor Guillebaud said: “No one is in favour of governments dictating family size but we need to act quickly to prevent it. Worldwide as this century progresses, those who continue to place obstacles in the way of women who want to control their fertility will have only themselves to blame, as more and more regimes bring in coercive measures. Despite the catastrophic current increase of an extra 1.5 million humans per week, there is still a slim chance that such measures can be avoided.”

Among other conclusions are:

*Every country, including the UK, needs a national population policy.

* A “stop at two children” (“replacement” level) or “have one child less” guideline for couples in the UK should be introduced by the Government, backed by schools, the media and environmental groups.

* New guidelines should be introduced for the portrayal of fertility issues by the media, aimed at countering the glamorisation of sex and stressing the responsibilities and frequent “sheer drudgery” of motherhood. Story-lines could demonstrate how teenage motherhood blights educational and earning prospects.

* A major new study is needed in the UK of the “perverse incentives” that lead some teenage girls to become pregnant. Britain’s record on teenage pregnancy is the worst in Europe while the performance of the NHS in this area has been “disastrous” and a “calamity.”

*Economic and political pressures to increase the birth rate are “hopelessly simplistic” and should be resisted. “Far from panicking about ‘baby shortages’, almost every country can welcome fertility rates at or slightly below replacement level.”


The full report is available on the OPT’s website at www.optimumpopulation.org/Youthquake.pdf .

John Guillebaud is emeritus professor of family planning and reproductive health at University College, London, and co-chair of the Optimum Population Trust.

Optimum Population Trust, 12 Meadowgate, Urmston, Manchester M41 9LB, UK
Tel: 07976-370 221    email: info@optimumpopulation.org


Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
Thu Aug 30, 5:27 PM ET

VIENNA (Reuters)
China says its one-child policy has helped the fight against global warming by avoiding 300 million births, the equivalent of the population of the United States.

See Full Report on

Pdf Documents on Overpopulation
by David Pimentel

DOWNLOAD: Doc1_Gigadeath.pdf

by Russel Hofenberg and David Pimentel


Johannesburg 2002

DOWNLOAD: Johannesburg appeal.pdf