by Helen Fryman
Question: Given that the population should grow at the current rate for the next 50-100 years, the world will soon be unable to provide food for the total population. Not to mention the other problems which occur due to overpopulation of an area. We can conclude (hopefully) that in the near future, some population control will probably be needed to lessen these problems.
Response: Population growth estimates are notoriously unpredictable, as the following link on Ethiopia indicates: http://addistribune.ethiopiaonline.net/1997/01/09-01-97/pop.html. [link now dead] However, as can be seen from South Africa, that does not seem to deter anyone. There are a number of people who have tried to estimate population growth and the world's capacity to support it and then printed "panic pieces" which have fed into the hands of those who have other motives, including racial and financial, in order to spread concern among the lay public. A couple (two of many available on the web) of the panic pieces are here: http://egj.lib.uidaho.edu/egj02/groat01.html.
In keeping with the Darwinian approach to science, you will also find chapters in texts regarding the problem of population growth, such as this one: (Link is dead).
THEN, when someone comes along who actually does a study about what is happening, few pay attention. But I think you should pay attention, if this question interests you. There is an excellent piece of research and analysis by Cesare Marchetti here: http://phe.rockefeller.edu/poppies/.
In it, you will find that it takes 2.1 children per family to maintain a population (this is a minimum figure, by the way), and above to increase a population. What we find, however, is that with economic security, populations not only tend to stabilize, but as in the case of a number of European countries, the birthrate drops below 2 per family, thus decreasing the population. The economic factor is unrelated to birth control methods or abortions.
Personally, I have noticed something else. I have had the opportunity to travel a bit in the past few years, and when I fly across the United States, you know what I see? Miles and miles of land not under cultivation which certainly could be. In fact, we pay farmers NOT to grow certain crops in abundance. We have surpluses which have been known to rot.
In short, our earth cannot only support a much larger number of people than we have now, but the population will not grow at predicted rates if countries and areas are helped to become economically stable and self-supporting. There will be a stabilization.
When this is added to the monstrous number of abortions which are robbing us of the economic tax base of the future, I think you will find that we will not only have a planet population which is not growing, but one which will later be plunged into economic chaos due to the lack of tax support from the children we have killed. The Marchetti paper, and those like it, will probably not be read by many. Politics and financial motives do not always pay attention to sound scholarship.