Seven billion human beings living on our little planet: Is that a good thing?

Last year on the 18th October 2010, the Australian Department of Sustainability and Environment issued a 12-month permit to the Northern Metropolitan Institute of TAFE (a government adult education facility) to cull up to 300 kangaroos living within its 320 hectare horse farm on Eden Park. The permit to kill these iconic animals was approved on grounds that they had been compromising the food supply of the horses being raised within the area.

According to wildlife management group Ecoplan which was commissioned to do an independent report required by the Australian Government prior to issuing the permit, the operation was to be planned in such a way as to “mimic natural selection” through a properly managed shooting of the animals over the course of three years…

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“To achieve the result that was recommended you’d have to do so (shoot) for another two years or possibly more,” [according to Ecoplan zoologist Bryan Walters]. “It would be too disturbing to the ecology if you did it too quickly. The aim is to mimic natural selection.”

What could it be like to be a kangaroo in the midst of such a situation?

Well, for one thing, you wouldn’t have a clue why every now and then the sound of a gunshot would ring out and why, every now and then, one of your buddies or family members would suddenly drop to the ground dead following that mysterious sound. Understanding the reasons why such things happen would be far far beyond the comprehension of your marsupial intelligence. Needless to say, for the average kangaroo, the prospect of solving that mysterious death-by-bang phenomenon would be an absolute impossibility. After all, one needs to understand the cause of a problem in order to come up with a solution for it. Sadly for Mrs Kanga and Baby Roo, death-by-bang is just another one of those great mysteries of nature they need to live with. You hear a loud Bang! and someone dies. That’s just the way it is.

On the other hand, when we regard the kangaroo situation from our perspective applying our superior human intelligence, the reason why kangaroos in Eden Park die every now and then following the sound of a loud bang is quite simple:

There are too many of them.

So their numbers need to be reduced.

* * *

So last Monday, the 31st of October this year, the seven billionth living human being was supposedly born. Considering we are a species who had, in the last 5,000 years, gone from believing we are the centre of creation to realising that we are but humble self-organising structures living on an infinitessimal speck in a universe with no centre, it is no longer such a stretch of imagination to think that there still lies out there — beyond the grasp of our finite intelligence — mysteries of nature that may ultimately conspire to cull our lot when we start to become an inconvenience.

Mr Walters most likely does not realise the profound meaning in what he says here…

“No one likes killing kangaroos; we don’t, either. But we’re paid to look at it from an ecological perspective.

Indeed, Mother Nature as we know it does not even have to like or dislike what she does. She just does what she does. It’s in her nature.

What is the solution? The answer to that depends on how much we understand the problem of our immense numbers. Indeed, even the question of whether an already incomprehensibly large population that continues to grow is good or bad cannot be answered convincingly.

Human civilisation is less than 10,000 years old, and the species Homo Sapiens has roamed the planet for less than a million years. Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for tens of millions of years. Yet they simply disappeared.

Perhaps and as such: over-population is not just a problem of poor countries.

35 Replies to “Seven billion human beings living on our little planet: Is that a good thing?”

  1. Yes, mister Benign0, it is a good thing that we have subdued the planet. Things are moving just as God has planned.

    Genesis 1:28:

    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    Disagree? How can you? This is the word of the God.

    God bless.

    P.S. There is no such thing as “mother nature.” This is blasphemy my friend. There is only God who loved us so much that he sacrificed his only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins so that we may enter the kingdom of heaven.

    1. I admire your having the courage of your convictions, but they’re only relevant to you, you know. Do not assume that any belief that is ultimately arrived at as a matter of choice is necessarily valid for those who choose something different.

    2. “The world holds two classes of of men – Intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.” I guess you belong to the latter.

      As Emile Zola said; Civilization will not attain its perfection, until the last stone from the last church falls on to the last priest” that includes you.

      Do you still believe in that ‘one woman’s lie about an affair that got seriously fucking out of hand”?

  2. Mister K,

    Lets be honest, you and I. I know you think that my strict belief in the Bible makes me appear nuts to your scientific world view. Okay I accept that. Its you soul as stake buddy, not mine.

    But will you be honest enough to ADMIT that my convictions are relevant to millions and millions of people who believe in word of the Almighty God as it is written in the Holy Bible? Will you be honest enough to admit that millions and millions of people believe that Almighty God loves us so much that he sacrificed his only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins so we may enter the kingdom of heaven? Millions and millions believe this and they will be saved.

    My question to you brother is: will you be saved?

    God bless.

    1. I think whether one will be saved or not is a matter between one and his God and THEREFORE none of your business. Who are you anyway to speak for a God that you yourself claim to be almighty beyond comprehension?

  3. Mr. Benign0 and Mr K.,

    You still have not responded to my original argument. The Bible clearly states that population growth is within the divine plan.

    Genesis 1:28:

    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    God Bless.

    1. What’s there to respond to? You’ve already decided that quoting the Bible makes what you say indisputably true — which means you are not open to discussion. Therefore there is no point.

    2. And because of your ‘God’, our planet is much worse than we already are. They kept multiplying cause it’s ‘God’s will’ to the point we’re too many and resources are too few. If your ‘God’ created us just so we could be killed in the end by his creations… what kind of a f*cked up god who loves all living beings would do that to his creations huh?

      Where’s the logic in that.

    3. Hi, Pastor Ernie!

      Without quoting scripture, the divine plan also includes the Apocalypse, right? Fruitful and multiplying is useless in the end because it’s headed for a reset. The large population is headed into a sieve or a divine filter.

      If we’re talking of disease, famine and war (compound that with climate change), then overcrowding on this Earth and competing for resources potentially can create enough stress to unleash something that’ll look like end of times for some of people.

      Anyway, just saying. Go on with your debate.

      1. “Religion is regarded by common people as true… by the philosophers as false … and by the rulers useful.” Seneca.

    4. Jesus himself did not have kids and so are most if not all of his disciples. Paul in (1 Corinthians 7: 25-31, 36-40)also even opted for celibacy—so are you saying that these holy men are going against God’s command in Genesis 1:28?

      God issued that command before the fall when man had free access to paradise. There is also the command to subdue the earth (read: keep things under control.)

      I don’t think God desired the gratuitous expression of human lust responsible for so many unplanned pregnancies, especially of irresponsible kids.

      1. @Felipe…read the Gospel of Mary Magdalene…look also in the Gnostic Gospel. It gives a different view on Jesus Christ…Gopel of Judas Iscariot, should be read also…
        The present version of the Christian Bible was determined by the Roman Emperor Constantine…from the conclusion of the Council of Nicea…

      2. There is a missing Book in the Book of Genesis…The other Book of Genesis, tells that :God created , Man and Woman. The present version. God took the ribs of Adam, to create Eve. They removed this Book of Genesis, version: God created : Adam and Lillith…
        If you look at the Summerian Book of Creation…these were written in Clay Tablets. It is 5,000 years older than the Hebrew Bible…it parallels with the Book of Genesis…Only , the present Homo Sapien, our ancestors,were Genetically Engineered by the ExtraTerrestrials: Annunaki of Planet Nibiru…

      3. @Hyden Toro

        I don’t think the likes of Pastor Ernie acknowledge those esoteric gospels as authoritative, so it’s useless to refer to them to support my counter argument.

    5. As a practicing Catholic, my two cents to this argument (though already moot as benign0 already pointed out, and I agree with him):

      I don’t think there were 7 billion people on this planet when Genesis was written. Heck, I don’t even think that the author/s thought that the time would come when Earth would be home to 7 billion human beings.

  4. Millions and millions of people believe the Bible to be the word of God. I am surprised that Mister K and yourself ignore is inconvenient truth. To dismiss my convictions as irrelevant is kinda like ignoring the big elephant in the room right?

    I will pray for you two.

    God bless.

    1. Sorry, who gave you the right to go saying your religion is better than mine. You know what started the crusades, the bombing of the twin towers, and other wars? Religion.

      So shove it up your arse because I don’t give a rat’s arse on who has a bigger dick between your god and the others.

      1. Lightzout,

        God loves you so much that he sacrificed his only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins so that we may enter the kingdom of heaven.

        If you still cannot see how much God loves you, then I don’t know what else to tell you. Perhaps you should let go of your hate and anger. Open your heart to the teachings of Christ.

        I will pray for you.

        God bless.

      2. Ha, don’t make me laugh Ernie, if God loves ‘us’ then why did he banish our ancestors, assuming it’s real, from the Garden of Eden from a simple sin? Don’t you people say he forgives? Don’t you people say he loves them?

        Again, where is the logic in that.

        Also what kind of father he’d send his son to be killed by his creations? BS if you ask me.

      1. It is not popularity dear brother. It is about success. Christianity has been embraced by millions and millions because it delivers RESULTS. People are happier and full of love because of the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ. And most important of all, they will be saved.

        What do you have to offer with your “mother earth” paganism?

        Let go of your hatred and anger Benign0. Open your heart to the teachings of Christ.

        I will pray for you.

        God bless.

      2. I don’t simply believe that SNAKES cannot talk, and have the ability and wisom to temp people…
        Genesis tells us: Adam and Eve have two sons: Abel and Cain. When Cain murdered Abel. Cain became a wanderer of the Earth. Then, he had wives….Where did the Wives came from? Dropped by the ExtraTerrestrials , Annunakis?

      3. SNAKES simply cannot talk…if they had talked in the Past…is this Reverse Evolution?…like dogs becoming cats?…people becoming monkeys?
        Maybe , I see it in our country. Our politicians really becoming Pigs…matakaw sila sa Pork Barrel…
        So, the Church believes in Evolution? Only, it is: Reverse Evolution? Talking Snakes becoming Mute Slithering Snakes…

  5. If taken from a Malthusian perspective, I think such a big population is a very bad thing. Why? The clue is what Ted Turner said, “More people use more stuff, and less people use less stuff”.

    Let me ask you, if God created man in his image and likeness(Genesis 1:26), then how come man became evil(Idea taken from Jeremiah 2:21)? How come is man created in the image and likeness of God, when in everything, he is not like God? Man is not holy, he is evil. As the Chinese philosopher Xun Zi believed that man is naturally evil because of desires. So, if man is created in the likeness of God? Why is man not like God?

  6. It’s natural selection, that will retain the human species that need to be retained. We have natural calamities, to enforce the natural selection of the universe, and in our Planet…Look at the Pestilence in the Dark Ages…Bobunic Plague…we have Aids…other unknown illnesses and deseases, that will trim the population. We have criminals and illegal drugs to kill people, also…
    Don’t worry of ovepopulation. The Universe will take its way. If the food supply is not enough…we will be Planet struck by an Asteroid, from Outer Space…

  7. Ecology is a better point than the rest of the emo proRH mush i’ve seen lately. The impact of human population growth is undeniable as almost every habitable part of the planet seems to be inhabited.

    While the lot of ProRH seems convinced that providing free contraception will effectice lead to a slowdown in population growth and thereby save us from the perils of overpopulation, i’m thinking that seven billion people constitute an enormous population growth momentum that simply leaving it up to the individual to decide on contraception might be doing too little, too late.

    But let me clear, i am far from advocating death by bang or some manner of holocaust or even compulsory sterilization. Far from it.

    Perhaps, like mold in a petri dish, our end as a species has already been spelled out already and all that we are doing is to delay the inevitable.

    Barring the possibility of a meteor crashing into the earth or any other doomsday theory, i think that our population growth will eventually stop and begin retreating at the point when the systems that have allowed us to thrive can no longer support us.

    That point, i think, isn’t a fixed one. Some people estimate it at a certain number, like say, 10 billion. But there have been estimates before and if you come across ‘make room, make room’ which became the basisfor soylent green, the notion described in the novel was that at seven billion, we’d be pretty much screwed. Realit, however conforms with the novel, but in a more pallid and less dramatic way.

    Anyway, the point is, the worst conceivable predictions for a world of seven billion people hasn’t come true in the way it was predicted. We aren’t rioting in the streets for people biscuits, not yet at least.

    Every generation has its version of soylent green and perhaps, our figure of overwhelming population growth may be around 10 billion or 15 billion.

    Thing is, it’ll take time to reach that number and in that time, there’ll be some development in technology that will allow us to keep the systems that support our lives going or some natural process will takeover that will lead to a substantial slowdown in population growth. Then, we’ll find ourselves revising the population doomsday.

    To put it differentl, its like someone having cancer. The cancer is there eating away at the person and the diagnosis will inevitably have some estimate for life expectancy. Then with treatment or because of the person’s own physiology, their body becomes healthier and the cancer goes into remission.

    1. Like the bangus fishkill in Taal Lake, populations don’t seem to decline gradually when placed under stress. Prior to the onset of environmental pressure, populations of most life forms seem to first multiply in ever increasing rates up to a critical mass then suddenly suffer a catastrophic drop in numbers when some sort of ecological tipping point is reached.

      Maybe the signs of imminent collapse we look out for (rioting in the street and increasing hunger) are the wrong ones, and the collapse in population that might happen soon or later will come in a completely unexpected form.

      The global financial collapse of 2008 for example was preceded up to the last minute by complete ignorance among the bigger community of “expert” economists. Same thing is happening with population growth. Nobody knows where it is headed and what it will do to us as a species.

      1. I hear ya. Just really wondering if contraception gives a false notion of control. Surely, it has some impact and may have slowed population growth, but i guess even with that, our population is already at a critical mass. Assuming disaster can’t be averted, what would be the next logical step?

      2. Perhaps. Kinda like how seatbelts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes while making driving a car at high speeds a lot safer, actually makes drivers more complacent and less alert or mindful about their driving.

        Still, continuing with the automotive analogy, there are less road fatalities per passenger-mile today than there were, say, 20 to 30 years ago. Of course the number of vehicles have increased a hundred fold since then, but we’re all getting to where we want to go in one piece.

        Maybe there is a case for sustainable population growth. But then that’s another kettle of fish in this whole debate. In the mean time, populations are growing within the current economic paradigm, which is the whole notion of raising standards of living by increasing both consumption and economic activity. So far, we are seeing limits to both.

  8. What I dislike the most are those people who use the bible to prove their assumption which IS NOT IN THE BIBLE.

    God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28

    Analyze what God said to Adam and Eve:
    1. Be fruitful – a family who cannot even support one child has 7, children starve from poverty and ignorance: is this the fruitful that God is talking about? Obviously not.

    2. Increase in number – we accomplished this already, what more do we want? Funny how Filipinos see “increase in number” but disregard “be fruitful”. A blind obedience but not to the God in the bible.

    3. subdue it (earth). Rule over – God wants us to govern, He did not tell us destroy it. If God gives us something to govern, clearly, he wants the things we govern to flourish and be enriched, not the other way around.

    God gave man 3 instructions. We failed the 1st and the 3rd and then we make an excuse that we are just obeying the bible?

    Let’s be clear on something: OVERPOPULATING THE PLANET MAKES US UNFRUITFUL AND DESTROYS WHAT GOD ASSIGNS FOR US TO GOVERN. We are going against His will, not along with it.

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