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Uzoamaka Okafor: It’s Time To Talk About Over-Population

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Stephen Hawking was deeply concerned about two things: Artificial Intelligence or AI for short, and human population. Both disturb me, but I am more concerned about the latter, without undermining the relationship which exists between both.

Stephen Hawking was not the only person concerned about the exponential increase in human population. Remember Thomas Malthus in our secondary school economics? As far back as 1798, he too was concerned. He voiced his concern about the steady increase in human population, explaining that at a stage, the world will be unable to feed itself. This is captured in what is referred to as The Malthusian Theory of Population. This theory explains that the rate of increase in human population is geometric, while that of food production is arithmetic, and without conscious appropriate measures, human population will be threatened to extinction because of hunger. The Malthusian Theory of Population is a theory of exponential population growth and arithmetic food supply growth.

Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you will know that we are already threatened by food shortage in the world. This has led to the constant increase in prices of agricultural products and their by-products. Shortage in food supply is not primarily caused by the advent of ‘white collar jobs,’ but by the uncontrolled increase in human population.

The exponential increase in human population accounts for a lot of things that are new under the face of the sun. Diseases which their pathologies are unknown even in this time of scientific progress and discovery, climate change and global warming, greenhouse gas effect, etc.

Every day, people are born. Every day, people die, too. But there are more people birthed than buried daily. Take your family, both nuclear and extended, for example: compare the births and deaths recorded in your family since you were born. Which is greater? Except your village people are planning on deleting your family from the village’s history, it should be birth. You may even be pregnant with a child right now and praying for twins. The earth may make certain compromises to adapt to this, but she is not elastic. The size of the earth is constant.

Every day, we are presented with the negative effects of over-population. I will use events which should be familiar to us. If you are working or schooling, you must have noticed how much extra time to have to put into your work or studies to first catch up and then pass the standard set for you. Standards are higher. Competition is tougher. Money does not last anymore, not because you are a spendthrift, but because there are a lot of things to do with money. All these are because there are so many people in the world and you have to do much more to stand out. Nowadays, the patient dog gets no bone at all. My sister-in-law now has to work weekends too. Already, the 8-6 she works during the week is very demanding. She does not spend enough time with her child. Her case is even better. Let’s think about market traders and hawkers who sell from morning through night, every day.

On the 3rd of August and 4th of September, 2018, we learned that Apple and Amazon are presently worth over a trillion dollars. Trillion! Making them the first and second companies respectively in the world to amass such net worth. You must be delusional if you think they will rest on their oars. They will even double their efforts at this point. Other technological companies nko? A new standard has been set for them, and they will work even harder to reach and beat this standard. All to the detriment of the workers. Why do they have to do this? To be seen. To be heard. In the midst of billions of people, they need to stand out.

What I am trying to explain is: the exponential increase in human population has put so much stress on humans, strained human relationship, and made humans take extreme measures for them to survive and stand out. Toward the end of our lives, we will realize that we never had time for ourselves. To live and love. Except when we were not burdened with cumbersome expectations, when we were babies and old adults And at those points, we were and will be incapable of living, left only to exist.

Movie makers, authors, and people in the creative industry have contributed to bringing to our attention the dangers of the uncontrolled increase in population. Valentine in “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” which was played by Samuel L. Jackson, helps us understand the similarities between the human body and earth. The earth, when infected with a virus, develops a fever, which is an increase in the normal temperature to fight the virus. Its fever is what humans experience in terms of natural disasters, change in climate conditions, diseases, etc. Valentine, therefore, felt mandated to save the earth by wiping off the human population with the exception of the elites whom he believed would be to start a new era of humanity.

In another movie ‘What Happened to Monday?Glenn Close, who plays the role of Nicolette Cayman, also had a similar approach to curbing population increase. Every family was to have just a child, and families with more than one child had the child forcefully taken away and ‘burnt to lack of existence’.

The question to be asked therefore is: what has been done and what can be done to curb this menace?

China, in 1979, adopted the policy of ‘One child per family,’ though it has been adjusted to two children per family. The World Health Organization has often preached the use of contraceptives. This could be because one of the causes of over-population is unwanted pregnancy A.nd we all understand that konji na bastard. Some people cannot control themselves when they get horny. The Centre for Family planning and Birth Control has also taught family planning to mostly married couples. (Kindly mention any other population control measures that have been taken both locally and internationally in the comment section.)

However, there have been other ignoble methods used in the control of over-population. Some of which we have seen in the movies referenced above. In Dan Brown’s “Inferno,” we are informed of the possibility of the creation of artificial virus as a means of curbing population increase. A virus was created which made it impossible for those infected to procreate. We have often heard it said that HIV was artificially created. I don’t know, but for people to postulate that, it could be true. Same has been said for Ebola. It has also beat the understanding of people why a cure has not been found for HIV, cancer, etc, with all the progress made in Science and Medicine. I am not trying to say these speculations are right, but calling to mind that there is usually an element of truth in every rumor.

As individuals, how can we help to curb over-population? I’d advice we start in our homes. It is heart-warming to have children, but let us have children we can train comfortably and not tell to call their uncles and aunties that are abroad or ‘doing well’ as this contributes to what Trevor Noah refers to as ‘the Black tax’ in his book “Born a Crime.”

While having children, consider the world, too. I have tried to understand why poor people have more children than they can take care of. I haven’t. I would have added that having children is not by force and you could actually adopt, but why would I want to discard all the plans you have made about having children borne of you? The aim is not just to have children you can train, but considering the contribution the number of children you have makes to the world population.

Until we find a lasting solution to the problem of over-population, I’d like to encourage us to be tolerant of each other. As Yanni said in his concert titled “Tribute“: As our population increases the planet grows smaller and smaller. We should, therefore, learn to accommodate each other.

What is your take on overpopulation? What other suggestions do you have to curb the exponential increase in human population? Kindly drop a comment below and do well to share, too.

Photo Credit: Fotos.com.ng

Okafor Uzoamaka is a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she studied Religion and Sociology. She is a writer and a blogger. The names of her blogs are okaforstories.blogspot.com and grantsandworks.site. She shares her stories, articles, job updates and scholarship notifications on her blogs. She loves to read and write.

16 Comments

  1. Baybie

    September 11, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks for articulating my thoughts

  2. Bijoux

    September 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    One person comes to mind… Thanos. Lol, just watched Avengers again today, not trying to reduce the seriousness of the article.

    • Uzoamaka Okafor

      September 12, 2018 at 11:36 am

      Lol! I’ll have to watch Avengers las las

  3. by_stander

    September 11, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Your article was driving me nuts, until i saw what you read in university, then it put your entire thought process into prospective for me so i calmed down.

    let me start by saying there is a big difference between reality and fantasy.

    It still stands now and forever, that no man on earth has the authority to take away the inalienable rights of another man.

    So whatever solution exists for overpopulation has to be left to our Creator when that solution will involve infringing on the inalienable rights of another human being.

    There is no fear (overpopulation included) that can justify any thought process of infringing on the inalienable rights of human beings. because thats how mental illness starts which then leads to genocide.

    Yes lets talk about overpopulation lets show the merits of compact families – but you cant force anybody into it. Do you even know why poorer people have more children?

    Do you even know why human beings are driven to procreate? Do you know the origin of sexes?

    Or you think its all about shagging and having bouncing babies?

    If you want tabs on overpopulation start by securing the inalienable rights of human beings.

    Doing this in your N20k minimum wage society means you start by removing the monopolies in laws and policies held in favour of Lawyers and Accountants against the economic freedom and right to earn a living of people in your society.

    • Uzoamaka Okafor

      September 12, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Well, we’re saying the same thing in different terms. I do not endorse of the methods applied in the movies and book I cited. You must have missed this when you felt I think mans rights to life should be abused.
      Writing that the world the article tries to create is Utopian is true. It’s as true as the world we create when we argue on how to create a better political system and environment in Nigeria.
      It’s good you calmed down.

    • by_stander

      September 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      Let me start by saying its good you took time to read and reply comments about your article. shows you have the capacity to learn if you’re willing to debate alternative ideas.

      However your article makes for a good foundation in Nazi Germany.

      You are not making an argument for a better political system or society in any context. you are making an argument for infringement of inalienable rights of human beings which is unlimited in scope and includes at its core “right to life.”

      In your arguments/article above it became clear to me that you don’t know or even understand the fundamental realities. i.e you do not know why “overpopulation” happens OR why it is a natural phenomenon in nature OR Natural law of nature.

      .I’m sorry we are not saying exactly the same thing, you are making arguments for the infringement for the inalienable rights of human beings, and i’m calling you out on it.

      It a shame alot of people in authority also tend to do this, without knowing exactly what they are doing, This is why we can not continue to leave authority of these kind to people with the lowest IQ or cognitive skills especially without any direct or immediate consequence for when they infringing on the inalienable rights of human beings.

      Its so bad they actually believe they are now doing us a favour by not infringing on our inalienable rights.

      I would like to break down my solution above to you, but i think i have addressed that in other posts and probably may need to continue to, until the monopoly of infringing on the inalienable rights of human beings by lawyers and accountants in our societies is removed from all our laws and policies.

      Because one would expect the knowledge and understanding of inalienable rights of human beings to be profound amongst humans – but articles like these reminds us its not.

      I hope you will take onboard what i have said, do some personal readings on your own and make an informed decision to stand against the infringement of inalienable rights of human beings.

      As that is the only solution that brings us a better political system and society.

    • Uzoamaka Okafor

      September 13, 2018 at 2:05 am

      “However, there have been other ignoble methods used in the control of over-population. Some of which we have seen in the movies referenced above.”
      Hopefully you know what ignoble means. If you could highlight where my support for the alienation of human rights is reflected in the article, I’ll be really grateful. If you can’t, then you’re accusing me falsely and you shouldn’t.
      Secondly, the article wasn’t intended to profer suggestions on how to attain a better political environment. It was intended to discuss over-population, hence the title.
      “…until the monopoly of infringing on the inalienable rights of human beings by lawyers and accountants in our societies is removed from all our laws and policies.”
      I’d really like to understand what you mean in that paragraph.
      From your argument, it seems you feel this is a political debate, or anarticle intended tohave a political undertone. If it has that effect on you, it’s because you read meaning into what is written and not out of what is written. These are two very different ways of reading.
      Have a beautiful day ahead. Cheers.

    • by_stander

      September 13, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      i’m sure i don’t have to quote the entire article where you or others were “concerned” about overpopulation after which you pinned the negative outcome on shortage in food supply e.t.c.

      let me tell you now Thomas Robert Malthus or whatever his name is, is and was a d***head, he was a home schooled idiot that managed to become popular.

      Like i usually say the school of economics is not free from bad influence by bad actors.

      He even attempted to use maths to convince the whole world of his BS.

      Fact of nature just incase you didnt know (im sure you dont cause of your article ) is every creature living in an unstable or uncertain environment uses numbers to ensure the survivability of its species. (That’s probably why you attempted to make a comparison to viruses)

      The moment you understand the simple facts of nature, you understand a lot of things you see in real life.

      Population growth is a direct result of uncertainty or instability in chance of prosperity!

      hence why poorer people tend to have more children, the universe is also structured to ensure that it can happen while at the same time balancing the effects, you can think of it as sort of cycle they don’t live long enough and the child birth mortality is usually higher.

      That’s why there are more ants than lions e.t.c. easier to kill an ant than it is to kill a lion.

      also reason why wealthy nations do not have surges in population growth like poorer ones

      etc

      The cycle can also go out of sync which usually leads to extinction of the species. But i don’t think i heard any specie going extinct because of lack of food. Whether it is even possible is a question for science to answer not some illiterate that doesn’t know an atom from another.

      So these are basic facts of nature – but if you knew your natural rights are grounded in science, you would then be asking for your inalienable rights which includes economic freedom and right to earn a living.

      One could even argue that for an unusual surge of population to happen, there needs to be an ongoing infringement on the inalienable rights of human beings in one shape or another.

      Because if you are busy working successfully and making productive progress etc, you probably would not have time for babies.

      if you do, you probably wouldnt want many considering that you can afford the best healthcare possible and “buy” the energy resource (food) available.

      by this point you should know why your previous mindset was extremely flawed and why you probably were learning rubbish in school.

      So let me jump into the issue with lawyers and accountants – professions which i believe are very much outdated. or at the very least require re-orientation.

      Most societies that have advanced past us have done so because they’ve put a check on these two professions to stop them from infringing on the inalienable rights of human beings.

      i will categorically state here that you can not have progress in anything humans are involved in unless, you respect and secure the inalienable rights of human beings

      In your N20k minimum wage society you have laws on both federal and state level that have given lawyers and accountants monopoly to infringe on the inalienable rights of human beings, rights which specifically include economic freedom and right to earn a living.

      It is clear as daylight in the laws related to economic freedom and right to earn a living. and you have more coming, i heard there is going to be a chartered entrepreneur act.

      Only God knows what other man-made huddle you have to jump so you can make a living.

      we can speculate on the reasons why lawyers and accountants are the only professions that have a monopoly in laws which infringe on the inalienable rights of human beings – but the fact is that it is there and they are not complaining about it.

      Where those laws exists in developed nations, they do not give that sort of monopoly to lawyers and accountants.

      So what do you think happens when people do not have economic freedom or have their right to earn a living infringed upon?

      I’m pretty sure by now there are researchers from other countries taking notes of what is happening.

      Political undertone or not, there is going to be calling out by me when i see anybody making or trying to make an argument for infringement on the inalienable rights of human beings in any shape or form.

      So its better you take it onboard as advice and do some reading like i said before.

      Human existence can not be a problem or a concern that warrants infringement on the inalienable rights of human beings. And no man has the rights or authority to take away the inalienable rights of another man, natural rights unlimited in scope that are bestowed upon man by his Creator!

  4. Frank sinatra

    September 11, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Thanos had a point

  5. Gerrard59

    September 12, 2018 at 2:35 am

    Unfortunately, the article is a ridiculous one. #NoOffence.

    “Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you will know that we are already threatened by food shortage in the world. This has led to the constant increase in prices of agricultural products and their by-product”

    Where did you get the information from that there are food shortages? Science has been able together with technology to improve crops yields, animal productivity, nutritional benefits and sizes. These improvements counter any assumed case of food shortage. Before you mention the “food crises” of ’08-’10, you need to understand that man for the first time competed with bio electric vehicles for food – biofuel and her derivatives. However, further development in agriculture have made food cheaper, more nutritious, plentiful and more varied. Saying there is a food shortage is extremely false.

    “We have often heard it said that HIV was artificially created. I don’t know, but for people to postulate that, it could be true. Same has been said for Ebola. It has also beat the understanding of people why a cure has not been found for HIV, cancer, etc, with all the progress made in Science and Medicine. I am not trying to say these speculations are right…”

    Yet again, this is false. So because it has been postulated (by conspiracy theorists), then you assume it to be true? This is your premise for diseases that aim to kill people? Talking about cures and treatments for almost incurable diseases. You need to understand that HIV is a virus induced disease and it’s extremely hard to deal with viruses once it has entered the system ‘virus not bacteria). Also, as much as it’s hard, progress has been made, tremendously, regarding providing treatments for the scourge. But no! You won’t know this or at least try to, which you should and currently do (thanks to me).

    Additionally, think about it? Why do you think erroneously that there’s a conspiracy against discovering the cure to HIV or cancer (which is an entirely different family of disease – no cancer is the same. As a result, there cannot be a single cure for cancer). So you mean if you have a potential cure, you would agree to withhold it because of the supposed agreement formed against discovering the cure to the disease? You think CEOs, shareholders and scientists ditto workers alike will not want to be part of the team that discovered the cure to tough diseases and get handsomely rewarded? You think companies that pour money into R and D do so because they have it to throw around or because they are looking for a cure and invariably make a whole lot from the sale of it? And yet, you believe there is a conspired gang up against discovering the cure? Damn! SMH!

    You mentioned Apple and Amazon as the ill effects of overpopulation, yet another apples (pun intended) and oranges comparison. Hello! Humans have been competing against themselves right from the days of yore. Humans, averagely, are instinctively greedy and overpopulation is not the cause, even remotely. This competition however you loathe it is what brings about development, innovation, inventions and improvements to life. Same competition is what makes electric cars advancement to be quicker than ever and alternatives to crude oil to hasten. But hey! Competition is bad. SMH once again. Whether 2 million people or 200 million, people will always compete against one another.

    Finally, while I agree with your point of people procreating without the resources to taking care of their own, your reasons for being against overpopulation is non-factual, anti-science and at best ridiculous.

    Hopefully, it gets published*.

    • Uzoamaka Okafor

      September 12, 2018 at 11:20 am

      No offence taken darl’n. Perhaps you do not really understand certain points. Saying there’s shortage of food supply is not false. However, the decline in food supply hasn’t reached an alarming stage. Sometimes I go to the market to buy something, and I’m told I different terms that it’s unavailable. When eventually it becomes available, it’s sold at a higher rate than usual. I am not ignorant of modern farming equipment and techniques either and how much it has greatly improved agricultural production, but my point with food availability is that sometimes certain factors of agricultural production and their results are constant, but the consumers of these products aren’t.
      It is good you captured the part where it’s written that I do not say the speculations are correct. I am not ignorant of the advances made by Science in Medicine. You should however know that viruses can actually be created artificially. This is what I intend to make you know.
      You totally missed the point when I mentioned Apple and Amazon. Yes, humans have always been in competition, bbut with more people to compete against and higher standards to reach, the competition becomes stiffer and tougher. The point of mentioning those companies was as an example of why competitions never get any easier. In what part of the article did you get that I hate competition?
      I really am happy you rread through and was ‘offended’ enough to criticize. You’ve done well. Have a beautiful day ahead, Gerard.

    • by_stander

      September 12, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Came back to see what was happening, saw this and i liked it!

      I’m betting my last dollar you are in a science field. if you are, love it!!!!

      The author should just take time to understand western movies she is quoting,by reading deep and wide, doesn’t seem to me the author understands what these movies are about and the message they truly carry.

  6. Dust

    September 12, 2018 at 8:02 am

    the higher the population the higher the amount of highly skilled professionals ( which depends on the schooling system of the country)…. so this puts off the theory “threatened by food shortage”..

    Because in summary ( same as above):
    the higher the population
    the higher the amount of skilled and un-skilled farmers
    which will lead to higher amount of food production.

    BUT, its always about money, if Nigerian farmers are been killed then the other people that gain are foreign farmers or firms who want to control the food production in Nigeria and Africa at large..

    stop been deceived by “E:uropean Theories”…. In case you haven’t noticed reducing black population globally is their main goal and they have already taught black people how to reduce black population..

  7. flowers

    September 12, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Gerrard59 you made really good valid point however I will not completely discard the writer’s point of view about questioning why cure hasn’t been found for some of these incurable disease and I will tell you why. Having worked in research and development I will tell you that there are brilliant people out there who have find cures to so many incurable disease but have been disregarded, some through the use of herbs but are afraid to come out to share. Those who came out to claim that they have cured people and had proves have been secretly murdered e.g Dr Sebi please research. You need to understand that the pharmaceutical company need to keep their business in operation so even if they have found a cure they probably won’t release it any time soon until another deadly disease has been created. Why should they when the only way they make their money is for you to keep coming back to get medicine that will suppress your virus instead of cure you. If you get a cure, how else do you expect them to make money if you are not going back for more drugs? We live in a world filled with lies and deceit, don’t be deceived most of these viruses are create and sometimes planted in our food.

    • Uzoamaka Okafor

      September 13, 2018 at 2:08 am

      I thank God someone else understands that not everything is black and white. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this.

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