The little stickers you sometimes see for some little known political
or social movement. I saw one the other day for the Optimum Population
So I googled and predictably enough, they are a group
concerned that the Earth is becoming overpopulated, and the negative
effects this will have on the world, both socio-economically and ecologically.
There are two main problems with their ideology.
Firstly, overpopulation is a symptom of a greater problem. To see it as an end cause of disaster is fallacious and unhelpful.
argue that countries with rapidly growing populations are usually
stricken by poverty. Failing to see that the cause of this poverty
isn't overpopulation, but poor education and health care provision,
which leads to people being unable to plan their families and therefore
rapid population increases occur. Improved standards of living usually
result in a drop in the birth rate, as demonstrated in almost all of the
Also that a large number of the poorer
countries still have a high proportion of the population involved in
agriculture. Therefore, bigger families are desirable to strengthen
Secondly, the website discusses overpopulation in the U.K.
Within my lifetime, the birthrate
in the U.K has dropped from 2.4 children to 1.9 children. As the Baby
Boomers reach retirement age, there is great economic concern about the
workforce being too small to support the increasingly large elderly
population. In Germany, a country facing similar problems, the
government are actually looking at ways to encourage families to have
So what could be the population problem in the U.K? Can you see what they might suggest....
This is a familiar tactic as the media are frequently happy to churn
out stories of the country being "swamped" by immigrants. In such articles (or, more accurately, racist clap-trap masquerading as news), the danger is
stated as immigration being "A threat to our way of life". So what
bigger excuse for xenophobia could there be then overpopulation and there not being
enough food to go round (insert other random fears here), e.t.c.
Consumption of resources is vastly inequal
in the world. We know that most of our production systems, whether
agricultural or industrial are often inefficient and wasteful.
of acting in a manner akin to Chicken Little we would be better served
at how to get the most out of the resources we have, in a sustainable
manner for the benefit of everyone. That would be true global concern.