OVERPOPULATION CANNOT ADVANCE INTERNATIONAL RECONCILIATION AND COOPERATION IN VIEW OF ANY CLIMATIC CHANGES
By the beginning of 2008 the present web page inaugurates an internet briefing discussion among the members and friends of the Anthropological Association of Greece, with regard to the imperative question that concerns all of us: the human overpopulation on the planet.
The problem is summarized by the fact that the living space of humans in relation to other living beings (plants and animals), the limited food sources or production of other goods for survival, but also the permanently overloaded environment, represent parameters influencing each other that reached their limits. For example: Haven't the margins of forest reduction been exhausted for the increase of cultivable extents and especially of monocultures? The continuously increasing malnutrition, meaning worse diet, has direct consequences for the health of us all . Alarming also are the corresponding phenomena of more and more poverty, water shortage, energy insufficiency and ensuing clashes, with the «established» addiction to aggressiveness, are some of the facts we all witness daily, evident «tidemarks and welts» for where we presently stand.
From the beginning it has to be clarified that the main question does not concern the few populations and tribes existing in self-restraining situation of underpopulation (but also under obliteration or genocide), usually not overloading their environment, i.e. living harmoniously without the «need of wars». This happens because they have accumulated the knowledge of millennia, essential both for their more secure survival, for the overpopulated other nations too, where people usually gather in inhumanely small areas and buildings of critical survival (not anymore living), with specifications of even an irreversible disappearance of our species.
The human population of 6.6 billions places in direct danger of a sudden collapse the world production, economy and ecological balance, with unforeseeable enormous consequences for all, where none of us is excluded. During the 60's and 70's, when the danger was quite visible, certain measures could have been taken more easily, since population augment had not reached its present explosive dimensions. On the contrary, it was mainly profitability that was erroneously supported, with the extension of markets and the substantial reinforcement of extreme overpopulation. The Soviet threat was finally proved a myth, after the system in question practically self-abolished, without the intent for a generalized extension of war. Then, in the end of the 80's, when there has been the possibility to take untrammeled direct measures, this did never advance, with just a few exceptions, as p. ex. China that managed somehow to intercept the phenomenon, when it became clear that the previous approach was leading to the precipice. In conclusion, the ignorance by some individuals makes them invest even in their own self-destruction, deluding themselves that by being economically rich, someone may survive. However, in Pompeii even Pliny the Elder, the most distinguished scientist of Romans, did not escape the catastrophe.
Although the previous practice of all the religious leaders until recently has been against birth control, the present head of the catholic dogma openly spoke in 2006 regarding the overpopulation problem (see http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=7110). Obviously the concern of one or two leaders is not enough to induce the international reconciliation and cooperation, while such a move has to be accompanied by the heads of other religions, as well as states, universities, organizations etc.
In any case how can we face the present situation, which is a trap for all of us? Shouldn't the mathematically precise calculation of the overpopulation limit by international teams of scientists and the binding attendance of all governments be a priority? This time however with transparency, not keeping the earth's inhabitants in the dark. In the recent past M. Gorbatchef spoke completely overoptimistically about a limit of 14 billions humans, which for adepts may not exceed the current levels. Without measures taken, with no prevention and scientific studies, at a critical moment wouldn't it follow a dramatic fall of our biosociopolitical level, with the corresponding repercussions in each aspect of daily life or in the worst case an internecine slaughter? Undoubtedly the fanatically fatalist perceptions such as: «god will take care» etc, intensify dramatically the problem, when from the other side for the crisis therapy, demographic included, there is acquaintance of the ancient proverb: Συν Αθηνά και χείρα κίνει - expecting Athena, move your hand - «god helps those who help themselves». With overpopulation it is obvious that neither a primordial communication can be reached, nor the much-desired international reconciliation may be achieved.
The subject in question is far more important than any climatic change, which as a phenomenon, has been frequent during the last millions of years. According to the fossil record and other data of anthropology, for hundreds thousands of years in the past, humans survived within tremendously adversary conditions, both in glacial periods, as well as interglacial - even with rises of temperature considerably higher the today levels (e.g. hippopotamuses in Europe). Precisely because our ancestors were ideally adapted to the environment, without overpopulation problems, but with the traditional innate attitude of mutualism, which unfortunately nowadays as a practice has fallen into oblivion.
The basic factors that influence the climate changes are many, as big volcanic eruptions, the changes of the solar magnetic field and other stellar phenomena, while is not yet undoubtedly demonstrated and therefore agreed on by scientists the eventual influence of human activity. Apparently no glacier or hot period of the past was caused by the use of stone knives or axes. The pollution of the environment, that follows the increase in overpopulation, is a different thing to the climate changes, that mainly remains unpredictable (even for a few days). Simply they occur and are expected to bring alternately hot and cold wheather conditions. What if we are preparing to face overheating only and finally a cooler climate occurs? However this winter does not seem corresponding to greenhouse effect and similar climatic models. Unfortunately, in both southern and northern hemispheres hundreds of dead by frost are reported (only in Peru 300 individuals and in USA 40 till now). Thus, the noise advancing on the subject is disorientating, and resulting to the underestimation of the bigger threat for humankind: overpopulation. It is therefore necessary that the researches conceded for the demographic policy, should reach at least the same levels with those realized for the climatic changes.
Certain individuals' obsession that on the contrary the climate changes will bring first and alone the humanity in impasse, unfortunately finally leads (deliberately or not) to more autarchy, racism and everything similar. The corresponding campaign, into which the media are drifted too, aims to tax mainly the poorer towards a direction that ignores and does not face the huge deficit of international mutual understanding and aid. Thus, the necessity of an open dialog emerges for a redefinition of the priorities.
The tenable argument that may be deduced from the above is that some people hardly try to maintain overpopulation and consequent overconsumption «with any sacrifice», irrelevantly to the contingency that in a short time there may be nothing to consume. Do they believe that with the shares' decrease and the nuclear power increase will resolve the problem? Or even with the doubtful quality and possibility «conquest» of other planets and manufacturing additional inhuman underwater cities and so on? At the same time within the various projects, no expansion of flora and cultivated areas in the deserts of the planet is yet encouraged. The budgets of the nations are bounteously expended on armaments, for even more lethal nuclear missiles. When will we learn at last to resolve the substantial problems, instead of accumulating them selfishly for next generations? Isn't it worrying that during the last 5-6 thousands of years, when practically wars started, they have never stopped yet? Obviously this may not be accomplished by wishes or half measures.
Today, precisely because of the overpopulation, with no preventive measures decided collectively in an international level, the margins of a convenient adaptation for the destructions' avoidance (including annihilation even via extensive «cannibalism»), have reached a cut-off. This phenomenon moreover is causing the explosive increase of criminality, children's slavery and prostitution, with consequence the penury of billions of natives, as well as immigrants from places where they are biosocially somehow more adapted, to countries where they usually tolerate any survival conditions: in sum a more and more broaden vicious cycle.
Beyond the possibility of spherical discussions and broadly accepted decisions, another comfortable element derives from the accumulation of scientific knowledge and technological accomplishments, which are mainly owed to people with a substratum of education for solidarity, as well as social harmonic compatibility. Such parameters should at last serve more effectively humankind, because if they are not applied through above-mentioned dialogic social structures, soon will constitute monuments of a destroyed world.
The present web page will be enriched according to the follwing two axes:
A) The briefing on the existing data.
B) The solutions in proposal (birth control - relative educational politics, societies with self-sufficiency of food, other necessary goods etc).