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The Psychology of Denying Overpopulation 

 

Let’s imagine we were giving an award for the worst social problem in the world today. Do you have any nominations?

Did I hear someone say international conflict? Racial prejudice maybe? Environmental destruction anyone? Millions of homeless refugees? Exploitation of women? Turns out there’s one problem that connects all of those, and it’s one you hardly ever hear politicians talk about.

Overpopulation may not be root of all evil, but it is indeed at the root of many of the world’s other miseries.

Just do the math. As a minimum, every additional person needs a certain quantity of food to eat and clean water to drink. Extra people could, in theory, live without clothes on their backs or roofs over their heads, but most of us would not wish for a world with more people, if they had to live homeless and naked against the elements. Beyond basic needs for food, water, and shelter, more people need more energy -- to light their homes and cook their food, and if that level is reached, they’ll be in the market for still more -- to power their refrigerators and washing machines. At moderate levels of economic development, people start to desire cell phones, big screen televisions, and cars to drive. And at the highest levels, they want second homes and vacations in far-away destinations, which they reach by flying on gas-guzzling airplanes.

One solution is to simply open our borders, to allow more of the world’s desperate people to come to the United States, England, the Netherlands, and Germany. That is the case Samantha Power made in her painful stories of the desperate people she encountered as a journalist and later as U.N. ambassador, which triggered the earlier open letter. The statistics seem to indicate that most immigrants are not criminals or terrorists, but are, compared to those who grow up in first world countries, actually more eager to work long and hard hours. Cafaro acknowledges the obvious -- that the opportunities in a first world country are substantially greater than those in a third world country. And if you are rich or middle class American, there are benefits from immigrants – cheaper labor and better bottom-lines on stock dividends (as large corporations have used the availability of cheaper immigrant labor to break unions, and drastically cut salaries and benefits for their employees). But Cafaro notes that those economic benefits to middle and upper-class Americans translate into severe costs for the poorest Americans. Middle-class people are generally out of touch with how those economic benefits to them translate into the hefty costs associated with unemployment or underemployment among African-Americans, poor whites, and native Hispanics. Many of these less fortunate groups have lost the union jobs that permitted their parents to live reasonably comfortable lives. This in turn leads to loss of health care benefits, and many other unpleasant downstream consequences.

The Psychology of Denying Overpopulation

Tags: $, Children, Choices, Effect, Environment, Exclusivity, Health, Hypocrisy, Overpopulation, Parental Crime, Politics, Poverty, Psychology, Racism, Religion, Responsibility, Saving The Environment!, Self Interest, Survival, Toxic, Warning

Filed under: Health/Food

14-Sep-2020


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