The overpopulation distraction

2009 Shanghai International Auto Show

2009 Shanghai International Auto Show. Photo by  Ridking in Commons Wikimedia.

The overpopulation concern is an informal fallacy to manipulate. By sure, several organizations and scholars could be genuinely concern about disastrous consequences for the survival of humanity in the case we overpopulate our planet. According to UN, it is likely possible to reach 9.3 billion of persons in 2050 and 10.1 billion in 2100, while some experts argue that the planet can hold 1 thousand billion persons, of course, with much objections. The certain is that the 7 billion humans we have this 2013 in Planet Earth, all could stand together in the Phnom Penh territory if we should gather all humanity for any type of global meeting.  

Of course, it is logical and necessary to exercise a control on birth rate and even some species seen to keep a limit in their own number to keep their habitat. We have to consider also the natural death rate and we humans are not exempt from this type of balance, unfortunately through wars, violence, diseases, natural disasters and traffic accidents. But it is not to expect that our population growth rate will be controlled by those unwanted events. As intelligent creatures we have other more civilized ways and it is education, development and discipline. It is proven that educated societies have less children. But in order to have an educated society you have to give same opportunities to such society.

Our planet is producing now enough food to feed these 7 billion persons, but it is not doing so… why? Because from those 7 billion persons, only a small group of humans are getting for them alone the 50% of the world resources and consuming more than 50% of it. At the same time this small group of privileged people are contaminating the planet with their high consumption of fossil fuel. Please, it is no Africa the responsible of the global warming, however, it suffers it most because its peoples are not getting the same opportunities.

To my opinion, the overpopulation fallacy comes from the fear of the privileged and industrialized human minorities that are controling the global resources to lost it at the hand of the growing crowds of poor nations. The fear of famine is in US, Canada, Europe… but not in Africa, India, South America, just because we have had famine in those regions for decades without real political actions to end such drama as well as to change our industrial behaviours to stop the global warming. In a global famine, New York and London will be the last to suffer it by sure.

Overpopulation is not the problem. The problem is the big inequality in the planet. Now well, poverty does not come from overpopulation as some could suggest with reasons, but it is just the opposite: overpopulation comes from poverty. Education, health and equal opportunities make that a social group reduces its birth rate without further promotions and it can be proven. The sterilization of a population through different means such as a psychological impact fearing a global disaster would bring a negative birth rate such it is happening in Europe and it can lead us with more possibilities to the human extinction than what overpopulation does.


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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (

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