A discussion on one too many.
- Who are you and do you think the world is overpopulated?
- How many people is too many?
- When/Will the global population decrease?
- Goodwin (2011) states that “[o]verpopulation is a serious threat to future persons’ quality of life.” Taking this as a given, what is our responsibility to “future persons” and their quality of life.
- Can a state/government sterilize a subset of its population to prevent overpopulation? Could they sterilize a subset of its population for other reasons? Could/Should they (de)incentivize people’s reproductive efforts?
- Why/Did China’s One Child Policy fail?
- As Rust (2010) notes, a “stunning 90% of this increase will occur in the developing world”. Thus, when speaking of population control measures, the most “effective” would be applied to developing nations. That being the case, is it “morally acceptable for developed nations to invest in population control mechanisms in developing countries in order to limit their population expansion”?
- Should rapidly growing populations be allowed to “hit their limit”? That is, is the solution to overpopulation, allowing the “carrying capacity” of the environment to have its – often rather morbid – say?
- The detrimental effects of population are rarely directly tied to the members of the population itself. Instead, there are indirect consequences – sometimes referred to as “negative externalities” – that can harm the population’s environment(s) and thereby harm the population itself. How can we reduce the negative consequences of overpopulation without “culling the herd”?
- What is the optimal number of people in a population?
- Who is responsible for overpopulation?
- Why is it in this ever more crowded earth we (perhaps too often) feel alone?
- When the history books are written, will it be said of our time that we had too much, too little, or did we finally achieve a “Goldilocks” generation?
Essays to consider
- Having Children: Reproductive Ethics in the Face of Overpopulation
- The Ethics of Controlling Population Growth in the Developing World
- Overpopulation and the Threat of Ecological Disaster: The Need for Global Bioethics
- Threats and burdens: Challenging scarcity-driven narratives of “overpopulation”