Since the Earth is finite, at some point in time population growth must cease. No action taken by humanity will permit continuous population growth on the finite Earth. There are three and only three ways by which human population growth will cease.
1. By war, with or without weapons of mass destruction, ethnic cleansing, starvation, disease and other horrors when the human population has exceeded a certain number. While we can debate how many people will be destroyed by the catastrophes described in the previous sentence, it could be in the billions. There can be a debate as to what level of population will trigger the catastrophes above and when it will be reached. However, there cannot be a debate that the population level will be reached, if population growth continues. The population level which will trigger the catastrophes set forth in this paragraph is not a static number, but rather will decrease over time as humanity uses the nonrenewable resources which permit our civilization to function and to support the current level of human population. Since no rational person would want to reduce population growth to zero by the catastrophes set forth in this paragraph and to cause the horrific deaths of billions it is, in reality, not a viable option.
2. By the voluntary action of all of humanity. In order for this option to be successful, the voluntary action of humanity must reduce population growth to zero prior to the level of population, the number of people on the planet, which will trigger the catastrophes set forth in number one above. In addition, voluntary action must reduce the population below the 7 billion of our species who presently exist on the planet, if such a reduction is necessary to prevent the catastrophes set forth in paragraph number one above. In simple terms, if the current population of 7 billion must be reduced to 2 or 3 billion in order to prevent catastrophes described in paragraph number one, the question becomes--Can the voluntary action of humanity achieve that reduction prior to the commencement of the catastrophes described in paragraph 1 above.
3. By the coercive action of society; by the governments of the world passing laws limiting the number of children a person can produce and enforcing those laws with criminal and other sanctions such that population growth is quickly reduced to zero and soon thereafter the number of human beings inhabiting the planet is substantially reduced.
I challenge anyone reading this essay to set forth another method by which population growth can be reduced to zero or by which the number of human beings inhabiting this planet can or will be reduced. In reality there are only two options open to humanity-- voluntary action or coercion.
To refuse to debate, consider, evaluate, discuss or take any action relating to coercion means that humanity is gambling the possible horrific deaths of billions being prevented solely by the voluntary action of humanity. Since no one can guarantee that voluntary action will reduce population growth to zero prior to the commencement of the catastrophes set forth in number one above, the question becomes-- Is humanity making a wise and intelligent decision in refusing to debate, consider, evaluate or discuss coercive population control? Since there is a possibility or even probability that in order to prevent the catastrophes set forth in number one above and the horrific deaths of billions the population must be substantially reduced below the current 7 billion and since a strong case can be made that the voluntary action humanity will not reduce the number of human beings inhabiting this planet in time, the question becomes-- Is humanity making a wise and intelligent decision in refusing to even consider coercive population control?
The proposition can be set forth more simply-- since no one can guarantee with 100% certainty that voluntary population control will prevent catastrophes set forth in one above and will prevent the horrific deaths of billions of living breathing human beings, the question becomes----Should the leaders of humanity discuss, evaluate, consider, and debate all of the possible benefits and harm to humanity of voluntary population control and coercive population control?
Before considering the questions posed herein, we must acknowledge that perhaps the catastrophes described in number one above have already commenced. I have used the word "perhaps" in the previous sentence because an argument can be made that the horrors which have occurred have been caused by a mal-distribution of wealth and other social problems. However, overpopulation cannot and must not be excluded as a possible cause of those horrors.
In my opinion, the failure of the leaders of humanity even consider coercive population control is more than an act of lunacy, it is an act of criminal stupidity. I make that statement because if voluntary action fails billions could and probably would die horrific deaths. I want to make it clear that is not my position that coercive population control will solve all or even some of the problems facing humanity. Rather, it is my position that the leaders of humanity have a duty to consider all options relating to the future of humanity and one of the options they must consider is coercive population control. I cannot see or forecast any harm to humanity if our leaders considered and evaluated the harm and possible benefits of both voluntary and coercive population control and compared them against each other.