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The Myth of Overpopulation

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Empty Cradle

The Myth of Overpopulation

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Powerful forces have been spreading a myth for years that the world is overpopulated or heading in that direction. The facts, however, show otherwise. The truth is that we may be heading towards a "global depopulation" crisis, with the result that almost every single country in the world will be unable to replace itself.

Although you have probably heard scares about a "population explosion" and "dire consequences" of population growth, you have probably not heard that many such concerns have been shown to be unfounded. In fact, for decades now, there have actually been concerns that birth rates are below replacement levels. The population decline naturally results in an aging of the population, which saps the strength of the country and even affects modern social security systems (there won't be enough young people to pay into the system to keep it going). Rather than a booming population, we have an aging population - whereby the elderly people may soon outnumber young people.

Despite the fact that overpopulation is a myth, it is still a commonly held belief and it is a reason given for promoting sinful actions such as contraception and abortion. Children are being forcefully killed to reduce population in some areas, while others are led to believe its their duty not to have children.

Some may point to crowed cities as "proof" of overpopulation - however, this is really "over-concentration" or "overcrowding", not overpopulation. There is plenty of room for the people elsewhere, if they chose to move. In fact, it is said that the population of the entire world could fit (standing) in a single state - or even a large city - in the United States or that the entire population of earth could fit on land the size of Texas, each with a home of average size. That means that the entire rest of the world would have a population of zero - that the rest of the planet would be completely free of people. See for yourself - simply take a long drive or flight and you will see miles and miles and miles of unpopulated areas. Once again, there are not overpopulation issues, but over-concentration of people in some areas. Overpopulation is a myth. Note that people choose to live close together to share resources and increase living standards. And, a high population density does not equal poverty - there are countries that are densely populated which are some of the richest countries in the world. 

But what about food? Aren't there starving people in the world already? Yes, unfortunately, there are starving people in the world. However, it is not because the earth cannot produce enough food for them, but because there is a problem getting the food to the people. People often starve due to their governments, for political reasons, or because certain groups are intentionally oppressing others. There is no hunger crisis in free countries. People not having access to food in some countries does not mean the food is not available or that it is impossible to feed all of them. In fact, food production has exceeded population growth and better farming techniques have allowed producers to produce more food on less land. It is said that American farmers alone can feed 1/3 of the entire world's population. The fact is that there is enough room on the planet - and enough food capacity - for many times the number of people currently living on earth.

But what about 'global warming'? Even so-called 'global warming' [if there really is such a thing - and that itself is highly debatable as many scientists have brought forth evidence rejecting it (in the wake of 'Climategate' one 'scientific heavyweight' even charged that 'global warming' is the "greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud" he has ever seen)] wouldn't be a direct result of population growth, but may be traced to natural events and possibly to methods of production or consumption patterns. 

In the end, there is no overpopulation crisis, but a "real danger of under-population that threatens may parts of the world in the years ahead". This under-population crisis may affect our lives in many unpleasant ways.

And, in the final analysis, is it not insulting to God to imply that He, our Father, would create people and be unable to provide for them all? Do we actually have so little faith in His Providence so as to think that He won't be able to take care of all those He creates and that He therefore needs us to kill them (i.e. through contraception or abortion)? God forbid we have so little faith in our merciful and loving Father!

"Only a person of very small faith could believe that so great a God doesn't have the power to give food to those who serve Him." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

His Holiness Pope Pius XII, 1958:

"So overpopulation is not a valid reason for spreading illicit birth control practices. It is simply a pretext used by those who would justify avarice and selfishness - by those nations, for instance, who fear that the expansion of others will pose a danger to their own political position and cause a lowering of the general standard of living, or by individuals, especially those who are better off, who prefer the greatest possible enjoyment of earthly goods to the praise and merit of bringing new lives into existence. The final result is that they break the fixed and certain laws of the Creator under the pretext of correcting supposed errors on the part of His Providence." 


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