by Maitri Pamo
I have done what I have often criticized in others. Although my obstetrician assured me that I was finished with “natural” childbearing, she underestimated my fecundity. My happy accident resulted in the daughter I thought would be denied me after having two sons. The conundrum is that I feel strongly about population control. I justify two children per marriage and thought that with two, there was the possibility that we could adopt and give a child a home. However, Madelaine has effectively closed the quota. We are five – that is enough.
My concern stems from the fact that environments have a carrying capacity: the number of a species that they can sustain, without significant detrimental effects. As human population continues to grow, I think often of the earth’s capacity. As of July 8, human population was projected to be 6,947,574,008. The majority of growth in the next half decade is projected to occur in Latin America, Africa, Asia (with the exception of Japan) and the Caribbean.
There is disagreement over not only the projected increase in the number of humans, but also its potential impact on the earth. There are multiple factors to consider when forming hypotheses regarding population growth. The role of disease, the increasing availability of birth control, advances in human medicine leading to longer life spans, the consequences of war, famine and natural disasters, are just a few. As the pundits continue to ponder it, I ponder it as well.
I consider, foremost, the effects on this jewel we inhabit. As people continue to multiply, if no radical change is made in the way that developed nations and increasingly, developing nations, interact with their environment, there will be serious consequences to the health of the planet. The continued taxing and, at times, ravaging of resources is staggering. One need only examine the pressures that have led to the devastation of the Amazon rain forest to glimpse the potential problems involved with a growing population that aspires to the standard of living that has often led to such destruction.
The other aspect of a human population explosion that most troubles me, is the loss of habitat for other species. More humans require more housing and, since there is finite space on the planet, as the need for human housing increases, the availability of space for other species decreases. The loss of habitat is a crushing stressor on the survivability of a worrisome number of species. The implications for the loss of species diversity are immense. The evolution of the enormous number of amazing non human animals on the earth has occurred over millennia. I have a difficult time accepting that one species could be responsible for the decimation of so many others in a comparatively short amount of time. Thus, I recommend, consider carefully before having a large family. We are not the owners of the earth. We should be it’s guardians.
Staff writer, Maitri Pamo.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of
the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.