posted on May, 16 2005 @ 09:26 PM
The Earth is not overpopulated. You're buying the hype told to you by people who are making their decisions based on emotions, not
For example, did you know that you could fit all 6 billion people on Earth in the U.S., and give them all an acre each? The rest of the planet's
surface would be free of human influence in that scenario. Do you consider that population density overcrowding?
Very few of the world's countries are densley populated, and even then, those countries still have large areas of land that are virtually untouched
by human hands. The U.S., the European Union, China, and India are the main centers of population on Earth right now. The rest of the world's
countries are quite rural in comparison to them.
As another example, let's consider the land use in one of the most developed countries on the planet -- the U.S. How much of the land in the U.S. is
covered in concrete? Well, the USGS has been keeping these statistics for years. Here is a brief summary of their results:
Land Use In The United States, By Percentage
Urban -- 3%
Rural Residential -- 3%
Farmland -- 15%
Pasture Land (for livestock) -- 42%
Forest Land -- 30%
Wasteland (Tundra, for example) -- 7%
Note that 80% of the U.S. population lives in the 3% of urbanized land. That's why many people percieve that everything is urbanized -- they've
lived their entire lives on that 3% of the land! Most Americans have never seen the vast natural environments in the U.S.
Also, among the 15% of land in the U.S. used as farmland, 12% is used to raise food for livestock, and only 3% is used to raise food for human
Land marked as "Rural Residential" is very rural by the standards of anyone born & raised in a city. Most of the small towns in the U.S. are
so surrounded by trees & forests that often individual buildings and roads are crowded out by vegetation in satellite photos.
What's the moral of the story? Urbanization is not a problem, and the U.S. is not "running out of wilderness." In fact, if you want to reduce land
use by humans, your best strategy is to become a vegetarian!
This is not to say that pollution and urban sprawl are not problems where they occur. But, except on occasions where water currents and wind gusts
carry pollution from place to place, the majority of pollution remains local by global standards. And urban sprawl, while a quality of life problem,
has had a negligible impact on the overall land use in the U.S.
Anyway, keep in mind that the U.S. is one of the most industrialized, concrete-covered countries in the world, and you see the data there. Imagine
what the land use looks like in much more rural countries -- as you can guess, most of the land in those countries remains practically untapped!
Considering food, there is more than enough food already to feed all 6 billion people on Earth, with plenty of food left over; and this isn't
considering that many of the world's countries don't know how to use modern farming methods yet. The only reason there are people starving right now
are political reasons, such as the war in Ethiopia, where the factions led by warlords have burned all the farmland, and steal food flown in as
aid for the civilians for themselves.
We've covered land use and food, now we're left with water. Well, this concern is legitamite, believe it or not! Only 1% of the Earth's water
supply is fresh water (99% is salt water), and 0.9% of that 1% of water is tied up in glaciers at the poles. So, all the water used by every living
thing on Earth, especially humans, is only 0.1% of the Earth's total water. However, as soon as the process of taking the salt out of large volumes
of water becomes easier and economically feasabile, then this will no longer be an issue.
So, whatcha got next?