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Old 06-03-2008, 09:54 PM
 
2,349 posts, read 3,934,962 times
Reputation: 2202

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There is no fact in regarding how many people Earth can hold.

Plus it can come at different levels, you can have physically, and can have physically with ensuring everyone has a quality of life.

It is theorized, which by the way varies widely, that our carrying capacity is around 8 billion.

The thing with knowing the carrying capacity is that while we are in an exponetial growth cycle right now, no one will ever know when we hit our carrying capacity until we have a massive die off, just as in the animal world.

There are many factors to put into it, what kind of a world do we really want to live in. Do we want a world where all food is rationed, energy costs are sky high due to the lack of energy available and all the other associated ills with a high population?

DO we want a world where everything is farmland or a city? very few or no national parks?

The latter would never work because we depend greatly on the ecosystem to survive.

So at what point do we reach our carrying capacity? Do we really want to find out?

I see no problem with saying hey, we need to slow world growth down and we need to stop it all together in some places and decrease the popualtion in others. With continuous growth, we are ensuring our future generations of a very poor quality of life.

Just look at the problems high density areas are having now, now multiply that out.

It is my personal opinion we do not have the capacity to have more than 10 billion in the world, something will give whether energy, food or plain craziness from a lack of space.

I could probably go on and on about the subject.

These are one of these things where I really wish people would look in the mirrior and do their part.
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:04 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 84,176,803 times
Reputation: 18057
That is the least of Chinas policies I would worry about.
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:49 AM
 
583 posts, read 1,142,391 times
Reputation: 323
One child policy is an effective but not very well thought or long term solution to overpopulation. It's a desperate measure and a short term solution that may potentially result in many future problems in the society.

The governments that desire to reduce the birth rates in their countries have to look for intelligent solutions that don't require policies like restricting the number of children in an obviously unnatural way. The leaders need to try to understand the demographic picture of different populations around the world and throughout history. There is a lot that can be learned about the natural and intelligent ways to reduce population. Birth rates are directly correlated with the educational level of women and overall role of women in a given society. Socioeconomic factors are also very important (the long standing belief is that poor folks would have more kids while the rich tend to have less). More prosperous societies where families feel secure that their offspring would survive tend to have lower birth rates. The societies torn by wars where child and young adult mortality is very high (due to hunger, poverty, crime, wars) tend to have very high birth rates. But the main driving force behind reproduction is the role of the women in a given society and the emphasis or lack thereof on reproduction. Societies where religion plays an important role would tend to have high birth rates vs. secular societies because of the overall emphasis on family life in most religions. So, for the leaders of the countries experiencing sky-high birth rates and wanting to reduce population:
1) Educate your women, make it important and mandatory. The statistics are out there, the more educated the woman is the less children (if any) she will bear. A college degree can determine roughly how many kids a woman is going to have. It's not a myth. Google it and you'll see what I mean.
2) Get your women professional jobs. Having women do things outside of the house is not necessarily going to reduce the birth rates. It's not the quantity it's the quality that matters. Women occupying the jobs requiring education and positions of power tend to have less children. Working mothers that do low skill jobs may still have more children than their professional counterparts.
3) Make child labor illegal. Most places with very high birth rates are largely rural or poor industrial where children are considered the helpers of the family and families rely on their offspring to make the ends meet. Citizens of societies where kids belong in school and not in the fields or sweatshops would be less motivated to have large families.
4) Promote the growth of cities. Urban dwellers tend to have less children due to many factors. Urban environments restrict the living space (which is not helping with increasing your family size) and urban living doesn't require as much investment in terms of physical work on part of parents for everyday survival, like rural/farm living that can be demanding and require 'helping hands'.

The most important thing is to reduce the violence and child/young adult mortality in your country. We are not going to be as motivated to reproduce if we would be assured that our offspring has high chances to survive and reproduce. The more prosperous and peaceful the society is, the more educated its women are the less the birth rates will be.

Why is one-child policy is not a permanent solution? It's because it puts lots of pressure on parents and promotes sex selection. Female embryos are more likely to be aborted in such restrictive societies than male embryos. This means that more boys will be born than girls as a result of such policy. This has a double effect in reducing population because growth of population is restricted by the amount of females of child bearing age. Not only there are less children born in China as a result of the one-child policy, there are more males born than females (female fetus abortions are very common in China and India). Governments that enforce such rules are going to have their hands full when the new generation males reach the age when they will start looking for wives and realize that not everyone will get one. Having a surplus of single males that have no hope of finding a wife is linked to increased violence, crime and possibilities of civil unrest and even wars. Most suicide bombers are from the societies where access to females is restricted (due to the overall conservative nature of the society and to the fact that having multiple wives is not outlawed).

On the other note, when the lifespan of human race increases lets say to 150 years, there will be and will have to be a reduction in birth rates. We may not be far from the times when not only we'll have a one-child policy forced upon everyone on Earth but we may have to get a 'license to reproduce' as not everyone would be allowed to have a child. So far, this is all science fiction and let's hope it stays this way and there will be a natural way for population to reduce its birth rates - because they simply wouldn't want to have and there would not be a need to have too many kids.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,928 posts, read 4,642,661 times
Reputation: 1274
This may be conspiracy theory, but wasn't there a document leaked out of one of these secret societies that we sometimes hear about where they advocate reducing the population of the world to 500 million. The justification being the sustainability and consumption of worldly resources in all forms.

I wonder how they plan on getting such a reduction in population?
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:45 PM
 
226 posts, read 1,035,192 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT13 View Post
One child policy is an effective but not very well thought or long term solution to overpopulation. It's a desperate measure and a short term solution that may potentially result in many future problems in the society.

The governments that desire to reduce the birth rates in their countries have to look for intelligent solutions that don't require policies like restricting the number of children in an obviously unnatural way. The leaders need to try to understand the demographic picture of different populations around the world and throughout history. There is a lot that can be learned about the natural and intelligent ways to reduce population. Birth rates are directly correlated with the educational level of women and overall role of women in a given society. Socioeconomic factors are also very important (the long standing belief is that poor folks would have more kids while the rich tend to have less). More prosperous societies where families feel secure that their offspring would survive tend to have lower birth rates. The societies torn by wars where child and young adult mortality is very high (due to hunger, poverty, crime, wars) tend to have very high birth rates. But the main driving force behind reproduction is the role of the women in a given society and the emphasis or lack thereof on reproduction. Societies where religion plays an important role would tend to have high birth rates vs. secular societies because of the overall emphasis on family life in most religions. So, for the leaders of the countries experiencing sky-high birth rates and wanting to reduce population:
1) Educate your women, make it important and mandatory. The statistics are out there, the more educated the woman is the less children (if any) she will bear. A college degree can determine roughly how many kids a woman is going to have. It's not a myth. Google it and you'll see what I mean.
2) Get your women professional jobs. Having women do things outside of the house is not necessarily going to reduce the birth rates. It's not the quantity it's the quality that matters. Women occupying the jobs requiring education and positions of power tend to have less children. Working mothers that do low skill jobs may still have more children than their professional counterparts.
3) Make child labor illegal. Most places with very high birth rates are largely rural or poor industrial where children are considered the helpers of the family and families rely on their offspring to make the ends meet. Citizens of societies where kids belong in school and not in the fields or sweatshops would be less motivated to have large families.
4) Promote the growth of cities. Urban dwellers tend to have less children due to many factors. Urban environments restrict the living space (which is not helping with increasing your family size) and urban living doesn't require as much investment in terms of physical work on part of parents for everyday survival, like rural/farm living that can be demanding and require 'helping hands'.

The most important thing is to reduce the violence and child/young adult mortality in your country. We are not going to be as motivated to reproduce if we would be assured that our offspring has high chances to survive and reproduce. The more prosperous and peaceful the society is, the more educated its women are the less the birth rates will be.

Why is one-child policy is not a permanent solution? It's because it puts lots of pressure on parents and promotes sex selection. Female embryos are more likely to be aborted in such restrictive societies than male embryos. This means that more boys will be born than girls as a result of such policy. This has a double effect in reducing population because growth of population is restricted by the amount of females of child bearing age. Not only there are less children born in China as a result of the one-child policy, there are more males born than females (female fetus abortions are very common in China and India). Governments that enforce such rules are going to have their hands full when the new generation males reach the age when they will start looking for wives and realize that not everyone will get one. Having a surplus of single males that have no hope of finding a wife is linked to increased violence, crime and possibilities of civil unrest and even wars. Most suicide bombers are from the societies where access to females is restricted (due to the overall conservative nature of the society and to the fact that having multiple wives is not outlawed).

On the other note, when the lifespan of human race increases lets say to 150 years, there will be and will have to be a reduction in birth rates. We may not be far from the times when not only we'll have a one-child policy forced upon everyone on Earth but we may have to get a 'license to reproduce' as not everyone would be allowed to have a child. So far, this is all science fiction and let's hope it stays this way and there will be a natural way for population to reduce its birth rates - because they simply wouldn't want to have and there would not be a need to have too many kids.
I agree that population control should not be forced upon a people by its government. Naturally, as societies become industrialized and developed, the standard of living and educational attainment increases, leading to lower birth rates as individuals are more involved with their own goals rather than on reproduction.

In China's case, I think that the one-child policy will hurt the nation and its demographics in the long run. As the standard of living improves for the new generation of only children, not only will there be fewer people to replace their elders, but the generation itself will reproduce at low levels, causing sharp and prolonged drops in population in the future. The economy will also lose a significant portion of its labor force which cannot be replaced in due time, causing economic problems. If the population growth was allowed to float and increase without restriction, then it will peak at a higher number, but then fall back down eventually and to an extent where the economy will not be hurt as much from losses in labor force. China implemented the one-child policy in fear that there would be insufficient quantities of food and resources to sustain its population, but if it took into consideration what international trade could provide, then it would probably be more willing to deregulate the growth of its population.
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:49 AM
 
Location: TX
740 posts, read 1,845,039 times
Reputation: 295
Exactly, KT13 and tennis368fan. There are other ways to reduce population without mandating a law. No one is suggesting that world population should explode beyond global capacity. Not that anyone here (including myself) knows (or feels) what that capacity is (or should be).

China is going to experience a very sharp decline after the current generation passes on. By that time, they will have upgraded from "emerging economy" to "developed economy". Billion-dollar industries nationwide but...labor shortage across all sectors. Blue-collar to white-collar, unskilled to skilled, children to adults, etc.. Their military force will take a hit as well, which will present a serious problem for government in maintaining its Communist grip.

I visited Singapore two years ago. Despite the population allowed to balloon to over 4.4 million, there are still complains of labor shortage. People are working their butts off because they are having trouble finding others to share the workload. It will get worse, as population reaches its peak (which will be pretty soon) and then decline. But the impact won't be near as bad as China, as Singapore was wise to repeal the 2-child policy early.
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Utah
1,455 posts, read 3,591,285 times
Reputation: 1530
I just wanted to add:

It isn't JUST that couples are allowed one child. They also have to have an approved pregnancy... and that approval doesn't come just because they have no child. Ex, a corporation that has X amount of employees, so there are only Y amount of pregnancies permitted to people employed there each year.

According to NatGeo's issue on population (I believe it was Sept or Oct of 2000), Everywhere women have been education on and have access to control their own repoduction, the amount of children per woman went down......except in the US.
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